If I change from http to https will this affect my Google rankings?
We are looking to apply an SSL certificate to a well-established URL http:/ that ranks in the top 5 of Google results. We are concerned that if we go to https:/ that our excellent position will be lost. Does anyone have experience with this that they can share, please?
The answer is Yes, but for the good.
Google announced it will give ranking boosts to sites secured with SSL, it’s an initiative called “Always-On”, or “HTTPS everywhere”.
Google believes that enabling Always-On HTTPS is critical to online security and data privacy. Because of this, they are rewarding websites that use 2048-bit SSL encryption with an extra boost in search engine rankings.
I have updated client sites to this and it hasn’t hurt their rankings. You should be able to choose to force all traffic to be over a secure connection if you want.
We have been hosting websites since 2006, but we also design websites and carry out SEO work.
Our experience has been that so long as you do it correctly, it can even enhance your position assuming other domains you are competing with do not have SSL.
Here is what you need to do:
1. Activate SSL on your hosting (BTW, here is a cheap and cheeky plug! we offer free SSL on our hosting services https://www.cognisant-hosting.com/ Yes note HTTPS!!)
2. If your host company allows you, set "Forced HTTPS" if not you can do this using HTACCESS file
3. Go to Google Webmaster page (now called Search Console for some unknown reason!) and "Add a New Site" using HTTPS://www.yourdomainname and click validate. It should validate without you having to do anything as whatever validation you used for your HTTP will also work with HTTPS as long as you have set "Forced SSL".
If this is the first time you are validating your domai, then you need to upload a HTML validation file to your route directory (you download it from Google Search Panel and simply upload it to your route directory without making any changes to the URL or content.
4. Submit a new Sitemap.xml with your HTTPS links
You are done! As easy as that :-)
If you do not have Google Webmaster/Search Console, then make sure you create one and do the above. If you already have one, then do the above and make sure you submit a new Sitemap.xml with your HTTPS links
I hope this helps but contact me if you need more information.
Not at all, even the ranking will improve with respect to time.