Boosting Your SEO Rankings With HTTPS/SSL

Google recently announced that they’re adding another point into their ranking equations, – SSL/HTTPS.

Google Adds SSL Signal to their Search Engine Algorithm

Google Adds SSL Signal to their Search Engine Algorithm

The reasoning behind this is that sites secured with a 2048-bit SSL key will likely provide users with more relevant results. Websites the implement this oft-tedious yet important security measure also tend to be ones of trustworthy quality.

The important thing to understand about this new search signal is that it carries less weight than other signals that Google currently uses. While Google has announced that they may weight this factor heavier in the future, it will likely only affect about 1% of the total websites listed in Google.

Should you bother with implementing HTTPS/SSL? That’s what I want to explore with you today, especially if you want to implement it purely for SEO-related reasons.

 

The Problems with HTTPS/SSL

The first thing you should know about switching from HTTP to HTTPS is that there are a number of potential problems hiding in the woodwork. You may end up with numerous error pages, problems loading content from third-party sources, and you may ultimately face ranking drops if these aren’t addressed in a timely manner.

The bottom line is that you don’t want your website to suffer, nor do you want your visitors to encounter additional problems purely for the sake of SEO.

 

Three Persuasive Reasons to Switch to HTTPS/SSL

HTTPS/SSL implementation on your website offers a heightened level of security to your visitors while giving a few additional benefits that may help your website perform better overall.

Below are the 3 reasons you should switch:

  1. SSL implementation makes your website look more like an authority source. This provides an additional measure of trust for your visitors.
  2. SSL can stop man-in-the-middle attacks, which is especially important if your website deals with sensitive information like credit card details, society security numbers or anything that might make your users a juicy target for cybercriminals.
  3. SSL makes your website more attractive to link to. Not only is it more secure, but other webmasters will more readily recognize your website as an authority source. This makes obtaining even low-value links like social bookmarks and social network mentions far easier.

Benefits of SSL

Addressing Those Concerns

If you’re set on switching over to SSL, then there’s a few things you can do to prevent SSL from becoming a problem:

    Decide whether you want a single, multi-domain or wildcard SSL certificate. This will impact what measures you need to take.

  • Always use 2048-bit key certificates. These are the most secure SSL certificates available, and the only ones Google’s new search signal will register at this time.
  • Always use relative URLs when linking to secured same-domain resources.
  • Use protocol URLs when linking to other domains or resources that may be hosted outside your SSL certificate’s coverage.
  • Don’t block spiders from crawling your HTTPS site with your robots.txt, .htaccess or the “noindex robots” meta tag.

 

What do you think about Google adding HTTPS/SSL as a search signal? Do you think it’s a wise decision? Has it affected your rankings? Comment below!

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Google Panda 4.0 – Everything You MUST Know

Everything-You-Need-to-Know-About-Panda-4.0

It’s official, – Panda 4.0 has finally been implemented, and sites are about to go through the most rank-changing ‘Google Dance’ we’ve seen since Penguin was originally implemented.

Let’s find out what this latest major change to the Google search algorithm means for search users and websites.

 

What’s So Important About Another Algorithm Update?

Search engine traffic is one of the best ways to create traffic to your website. When harnessed properly, you can see visitors that you could otherwise never afford to bring to your website with methods like pay-per-click advertising or even social media marketing.

The best part is that ranking in search engines is technically free. That’s what’s attractive about it, especially when you take topics like content marketing into consideration.

But what’s so important about algorithm changes?

Simply put, they represent alterations in the way Google categorizes websites and how Google calculates a website’s relevance to any given search term using some 200 points of data.

 

What is Panda 4.0?

Google Panda Updates in a NutshellThe primary focus of Panda 4.0 will be to root out low-quality and spammy websites from search results. This means that things like autoblogs, website that steal content and other insidious, less-helpful websites with stolen content should begin to swirl down the proverbial drain while websites with amazing content that people find useful get pushed to the top.

But what does this mean for search engine users, and what should websites do to prevent losses in their rankings?

 

What Does Panda 4.0 Mean for Search Engine Users?

The new Google Panda 4.0 update will be the turning point of how searches work. This is big for everyone, search engine users and websites included.

Here’s how Matt Cutts explains the Panda 4.0 update:

Matt Cutts Explains Panda 4.0 in a Twitter Tweet

This means that searches should get a lot more friendly for people whom try to use them. Results should begin to be more accurate and more sensible as the Panda 4.0 update begins to complement the semantic search features implemented with Google Hummingbird and the content-oriented Penguin updates.

 

How Can Websites Prevent Being Hurt by Yet Another Google Update?

While every other Google update has brought about the same kind of ‘Panda’-monium as four horse riders wearing dark hoods would,this is likely one of the very few updates where I honestly wouldn’t recommend that you change anything of what you’re doing with your website if you want to keep your rankings.

Why is this? Because a number of websites whom focus on the time-tested strategy of creating amazing content with their blogs and posting new, helpful articles have reported astounding gains since the implementation of Google Panda 4.0 on Sunday.

The only thing I would recommend is that if you’re not already focused on doing so, then begin writing new content and cross-promoting it on your social media marketing platforms. If you haven’t already looked at my Most comprehensive List of Web 2.0 Sites, then I recommend starting there. This will ensure that positive signals get sent to your content, which in turn will allow your websites to rank that much better in an era where content is still king.

 

What do you think about the Google Panda 4.0 Update? Has it hurt you or helped you? Are search results more useful and accurate? Leave your voice below in the comments.