Google has announced that going HTTPS — adding a SSL 2048-bit key certificate on your site — will give you a ranking boost (in other words, a penalty for those websites that do not use SSL).
Google also said based on their tests for the past few months, the HTTPS signal showed “positive results” in terms of relevancy and ranking in Google’s search results.
As you may remember, at SMX West, Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, said he’d love to make SSL a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm. Well, less than five months after that announcement, and while he is on an extended leave, Google is making it a reality.
Should you be concerned when switching from your HTTP to HTTPS site for SEO purposes? Not so much. Google has been telling webmasters it is safe to do so for years. But you need to take the proper steps to ensure your traffic doesn’t suffer. That means make sure to communicate to Google that you moved your site from HTTP to HTTPS. Google promises to release more documentation in the future, but for now has provided the following tips:
Google has also updated Google Webmaster Tools to better handle HTTPS sites and the reporting on them.
One last thing: You will want to make sure to track your HTTP to HTTPS migration carefully in your analytics software and within Google Webmaster Tools.