HTTPS for Google SEO in 2018

Adding HTTPS to your website can significantly increase your position in Google SERPs. There are however some concerns when making the switch. 302, 301 Redirects, Sitemaps, Bandwidth, Server Load, and some others. Let's discuss each really quickly and let me tell you how I screwed up tazdij.com for a couple of months.

Redirects (At the server level)

According to Google, 301 & 302 Redirects do not impact your PageRank. I would like to believe them, however I saw a huge decrease in my Organic traffic from the Goog's about a week after I implemented my HTTP to HTTPS site wide redirect. There had to be something wrong, or does Google just lie about what they like and not? Turns out you need to Use Google's Search Console and add a second Property for the HTTPS site. Then submit your sitemap URL for it, separately than the HTTP site. I recommend setting up a redirect on your server to Redirect all HTTP traffic to HTTPS, and also all mydomain.com to www.mydomain.com or vice versa. This will push all analytics and data in search console into a single site/property.

Action (Redirect to single Protocol 'HTTPS' and Domain)

  • On your server Apache or Nginx, or Control Panel Create a Redirect (301 or 302) to https://www.mydomain.com from http://mydomain.com and from https://mydomain.com or vice versa

If you need help with this shoot me an email [email protected], I am usually available for quick 1-3 hour jobs.

Action (Add new property to Search Console)

  • Go to https://google.com/webmasters/tools
  • Add a "New Property"
  • Type in your domain name with the https://mydomain.com/
  • Go to Crawl -> Sitemaps in the left navigation menu
  • Submit your sitemap URL for this site property - By sure your sitemap contains the https:// urls.

Sitemaps, need to be correct

One of my major problems was that my sitemap was incorrect. After switching to the HTTPS protocol, I failed to update the code which generates my Sitemap. Be 100% certain that the https:// is in the sitemap, after you switch, and implement your redirects. This had a huge impact on the Crawl results and indexing of my website in Google.

HTTPS adds Bandwidth and Processor/Memory Utilization

If you are borderline peaking the resources you have available in your server, you might want to upgrade your hosting a little. Adding HTTPS will both increase your bandwidth (by about 15%-20%) and increase your average processor and memory utilization.

The Benefits

After fixing my issues with the sitemaps, and redirect; I have started receiving an addition 200 +/- visitors per day from Google searches. This doesn't even include the additional I am now receiving from Bing, and DuckDuckGo. I highly encourage you to enable HTTPS and a single domain as your website scheme in 2018 solely for SEO purposes.

I should note, that I have purchased my SSL Cert and not used LetsEncrypt. Maybe I will discuss that more in the future.