For awhile now SEO's have known the importance of https (SSL) for SEO, but it has not been entirely embraced. Back in August, Google started sending webmasters via the Search Console, direct messages such as the following:
"Starting October 2017, Chrome (version 62) will show a “NOT SECURE” warning when users enter text in a form on an HTTP page, and for all HTTP pages in Incognito mode.
The following URLs on your site include text input fields (such as < input type="text" > or < input type="email" >) that will trigger the new Chrome warning. Review these examples to see where these warnings will appear, so that you can take action to help protect users’ data. This list is not exhaustive.
(FireFox browser also does this.)
What does this mean?
The new warning is part of a long term plan to mark all pages served over HTTP as “not secure”."
Additionally, Google updated their article about securing the web: https://security.googleblog.com/2016/09/moving-towards-more-secure-web.html
In short, eventually, ALL non-HTTPS pages in Chrome will be flagged in the URL bar as NOT SECURE.
This means all webmasters MUST migrate their sites to full https even if they do not have an ecommerce store or use forms to gather data.
(What a boon for the SSL companies! We bought some stock in SYMANTEC as they are going to have a great year!)
How to migrate to https for SEO in Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Given that Google now requires all sites that use form fields (polls, sign in, contact pages, etc.) and will eventually flag all non-https websites as NOT SECURE, there is no greater SEO priority than to migrate your website(s) to use SSL.
What video directly on Youtube : Google https seo tutorial
How do I migrate to SSL for search engine optimization?
- First, you need an SSL certificate which you should be able to get directly through your webs hosting company. Costs vary, but expect to spend about $99 a year. With SSL becoming a Google requirement, cost might drop or the industry as a whole most likely will start gauging. Either way, you must bite the bullet and make the transition.
- Second, use a .htacess URL rewrite to 301 redirect all traffic from non-https to https.
- Third, scour your website for any embeded links to your site, images, downloads, etc. If any link is hardcoded to use a NON-https full url path, change it use https://mydomain/path.. Also, if you use a CMS like Wordpress or Joomla, be sure to change the settings in the config files, control panels, etc. Additionally, you might want to run some find/replace queries in your database to change non-https to https.
Google Search Console (Google Webmaster Tools).
Most webmaster should already have a Google Webmaster profile for their website. However, most webmasters only submitted ONE version of their site. IE: http://www.mydomain.com. In the past, this might have been sufficient, but now with the https requirement from Google, that will no longer be adequate..
Unfortunately, Google Search Console does NOT have an option for simply changing the website to https. Webmasters have to add ALL potential version of the website. IE: http, https, www and non-www. Then, group all the versions as a "Property Set" in Google webmaster tools. Once that is done, then in the SETTINGS of the property set specify your preferred version of the site regarding www and non-www.
*To verify your website url variations, you may need to disable any automatic redirects via .htaccess or system configurations. Once verified in Google Search Console, remember to auto-redirect all visits to HTTPS.
Changing Google Analytics to https://
In Google Analytics there couple things to do.
- In the Admin > Property > Property Settings change the DEFAULT URL to https and your preferred version (www or non-www).
- In Admin > Property > Property Settings > Search Console DELETE the connected non https version. Then, reconnect to the https profile. Be sure to connect to your preferred version (www or non-www).
Additional SEO Notes
*Temporary SERP and GA Data Drop
Making the above changes will effect the Search Console data in both Google Analytics and Google Search Console directly. You will see a drop in traffic as Google, in general, does not like big sweeping changes to your site such as redirecting all traffic to https from non-https. However, once Google sees you have followed their rules, and are trying to help make the web more secure your traffic will come back. Additionally, until the rest of the web catches up, you will likely get a seo boost just by migrating. And, finally, the OLD serp data is still available for 90 days in Google Search Console directly.
*Update all 3rd party links to your site
Where possible, such as your Google Map listings, Facebook Business Page, etc., make sure to change any links pointing to the non-http version to https. This will further help Google index your new website version as well as eliminate any "security" warnings future visitors may recieve about your website not being secure.
Video music by Urbana-Metronica (wooh-yeah mix) by spinningmerkaba (c) copyright 2011 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/jlbrock44/33345 Ft: Morusque, Jeris, CSoul, Alex Beroza
Voice over by Michael Zittel @ Serr.biz
Video production by Serr.biz