HTTP to HTTPS Redirection Guide – The Importance of SSL Certificates in Search Engine Rankings!
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is the protocol for the transmission of data on the Internet. Since there is no encryption, data can be manipulated and tracked by attackers. This is where SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or the successor TLS (Transport Layer Security) comes into play. These certificates encrypt the data traffic and secure the transfer between browser and web server. This means that the communication cannot be read or falsified. HTTPS is combination of HTTP and a security certificate.
All common web browsers now enforce a minimum requirement for websites that install an SSL certificate and change their URL root from
If you own a website that doesn’t, it will be marked as “Not Safe” for visitors. In other words, website owners have no choice but to ensure that their websites support encrypted connections. The good news is that this change will give you more valuable benefits.
So, buckle up securely because it’s time to take a trip into the exciting world of SSL Certificates
So, buckle up securely because it’s time to take a trip into the exciting world of SSL Certificates.
Importance of SSL Certificate
If a visitor lands on a website that is not protected by a kind of SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer), Visitor will see
at the beginning of the website address in the browser bar.
Until recently, this was a perfectly acceptable way to transfer information over the Internet, as long as the website did not require credentials or collect sensitive information from visitors.
However, times have changed. HTTP connections now perceived as insecure.
All information transmitted via an HTTP connection is susceptible to manipulation, misuse or theft. Your visitors deserve to know that any data they share with you protected from prying eyes.
The successful installation of an SSL certificate on your website changes the address of the browser bar to
and clearly shows the visitors that their connection is encrypted. This encrypted connection ensures that the server authenticated and the data protected during the transfer.
It’s no wonder that mainstream web browsers have made HTTPS the new standard for website security.
The certificate encodes this data, for example
- Payment information
- Log-in and registration data
- Uploaded documents
- Entry forms
In terms of language, SSL is still used, although TLS is meant.
Why HTTPS is Good for ecommerce?
A secure connection is not only part of the “good tone” not only in ecommerce store. Chrome and other browsers now display the message ” Not secure ” on HTTP pages. It’s a killer for every conversion. If the page is secure, however, a lock symbol appears. The user trust is higher with an encrypted page, especially when security-relevant data is requested, such as in the banking or ecommerce sector. It also protects the user from phishing and sniffing. In addition, HTTPS has been an official ranking factor since 2014.
What you need to consider when switching to HTTPS
Start by crawling your website so that you can capture all the URLs including the images and scripts. In addition, you must not forget to move all of your subdomains, for example, all country domains.
What happens when your SSL certificate expires?
If the certificate has expired or is invalid, the browser also displays a non-secure connection. As a result, you miss your actual goal, namely user trust. Choose your certificate to match your website and your needs. The key should be at least 2,048 bits long.
Change page URLs with 301 redirect
With the permanent 301 redirect, you redirect every HTTP page to HTTPS. A command in the. HTC access file that configures the settings of the Apache server is sufficient. Alternatively, you can enter the command in the config file. Both approaches make your work easier since you don’t have to make the changes in each file individually. How to avoid duplicate content. The search engine otherwise evaluates the HTTP and HTTPS versions as different pages and expects different content. Avoid so-called redirect chains, i.e. multiple redirects.
Especially in the navigation and body text, you shouldn’t forget to adjust the internal link. Check these references despite the 301 redirect. Depending on the CMS, you may have to do it manually. With a large number of internal links, however, there is also a script-based solution that searches for and changes all links in the database without HTTPS. Store the hreflang attributes in the HTML head also with HTTPS.
Integrate all resources with SSL
Don’t forget to load the integrated images, scripts and CSS files with the SSL / TLS certificate. Otherwise, there is a risk that mixed content (HTTP and HTTPS) will arise. This delay indexing or even prevents it in the worst case. In addition, the browser classifies pages with mixed content as “not secure”. At this point, you should also check your embedded content such as tweets, YouTube videos or advertising.
Backlinks & social media links
If possible, try to adapt high-traffic backlinks to HTTPS. You can find out which ones deliver a lot of traffic in Google Analytics, for example. Contact the link providers and webmasters, usually, no problems are changing the link target. If necessary, you can also carry out the update yourself, for example in business directories. In this context, do not forget the references on social media channels. The link on Google MyBusiness is also important. Without adaptation, the data from it continues to run on the HTTP page in the Google Search Console.
Use Canonical tags
The canonical tag shows Google in Duplicate Content which URL should be in the index. So that everything is correct here, you should tag the day with the HTTPS address. This is the only way Google plays the right variant in the index or in the search results.
PPC (Pay Per Click)
Only if you switch your PPC landing pages to HTTPS will your landing page value not be affected. Otherwise, the user receives an unsightly message: “Not sure”. The user is unsettled. This is particularly problematic when you place ads.
For Google, the XML sitemap is a kind of table of contents for a website. It makes crawling easier for the bot. Therefore, it is important that you also revise these when switching to HTTPS. You should also make the adjustment in the Google Search Console and observe it there. This makes the search engine’s job easier because it finds the new URLs faster, easier and directly, which in turn relieves the crawl budget. If Google News is relevant to you, you should also renew the sitemap there. You have to apply for this directly from Google. Don’t forget the HTML sitemap.
Google Search Console and Google Analytics
Since the two variants are strictly two different pages, you have to create a new property for your HTTPS page in the Google Search Console. However, do not delete the HTTP version, otherwise you will no longer be able to carry out controlling and monitoring. With the new account, you have to redefine the geo-targeting and disavow file and reconfigure the URL parameters. In the console, you can submit important pages directly to Google via “Retrieval as with Google”. You also have to relink the Search Console to Analytics so that the data arrives. It also helps if you set HTTPS in the properties and data view of the Analytics. Note your changes in the Analytics notes so you can understand them later.
Make sure, on the one hand, that the Robots.txt file is accessible even under HTTPS. On the other hand, you have to ensure that you change everything in the file to HTTPS. Otherwise, there are problems with crawling, because the bot only goes to the pages it is allowed to go to.
Benefits of upgrading to HTTPS connection
Good for your bottom line: Avoiding this “not sure” warning is a sufficient reason in itself to install an SSL certificate. If you continue to use an HTTP connection, you are likely to lose a significant amount of site traffic – a recent CA Security Council report found that only 2% of customers surveyed were happy with “unsafe” HTTP warnings – Overcome connection.
Improved performance: Having a website with slow loading times can be very detrimental to visitor retention. Encrypted connections are required to unlock the latest speed and security features.
Increased search engine ranking: This is a big deal – Google uses SSL as a ranking factor and prioritizes websites with secure HTTPS connections over those without. Differentiate yourself from the competition by encrypting every page of your website.
Providing a seamless experience: Visitors are put off if they deal with multiple pages on your website, only to get a “not sure” warning on pages that have not protected them. Providing a consistently encrypted and secure experience will help ensure that visitors do not encounter barriers and warnings when exploring your website.
Business validation is also important: HTTPS is no longer optional if you want to build business relationships online. SSL certificates authenticate your identity so that visitors know that you really are at the other end of their connection; potential customers may not trust your website without one.
What is Next?
Have you observed all the points and switched your website to HTTPS? Now it is time to monitor the page permanently. This is the only way to identify errors early on and take countermeasures. Above all, keep an eye on indexing, traffic, rankings and visibility. The clicks and impressions of the HTTP variant should decrease, the HTTPS should increase. Keep in mind that with large pages it can take up to a year for all HTTPS pages to go into the index and for the HTTP to drop out. Smaller fluctuations in the ranking are normal, but if you notice major changes, you should research the problem.
The basic thing to learn from this blog is that all websites, web applications and systems should have strong and secure authentication.
We know how important it is that your website is as secure as possible. We want all of your customers to feel safe and protected while surfing, so the inclusion of an SSL certificate is an essential mandate for your website.
If you need help setting up SSL installation for your website or planning a new project or your website is not being indexed by Google? We are happy to assist you. Please Explore our SEO Services! We also provide regular website maintenance services from a small content update, webmaster sitemap updates, bug fixing, troubleshooting, critical security updates, SSL certification, module configuration, installation to version upgrades and much more. For more information, explore our website maintenance services.