For a number of years Google has been signaling their intent to rank web sites using the https:// protocol higher than those using the http:// protocol.
SEO gurus say that using HTTPS can improve the SEO rankings of your websites. Though a lightweight ranking signal at present, HTTPS will be an important ranking signal in the future.
Recently the Chrome and Firefox browsers began warning users of possible ‘insecure connections’ whenever users filled in a form or logged into their own web site. The message in Firefox is displayed next to a lock icon with a red strike-through and says; “This connection is not secure. Logins entered here could be compromised.”
MyPR moved to https:// on Sunday 4 June 2017 and it appears that we are getting more traffic. We say ‘appears’ as the increase in traffic may just be a blip – the real proof of the pudding will be in whether that increase in traffic is sustained for the next year or so.
What does it mean for the many PR Professionals who use MyPR:
- Most importantly – more traffic and better exposure for your articles
- A safer environment for you and visitors to enjoy.
For those contemplating moving from the http:// protocol to the the https:// protocol we recommend that you read this article: https://blog.templatetoaster.com/redirect-http-to-https-seo-optimized/
For a quick check of your sites compliance (or not) to https:// visit: https://www.whynopadlock.com/check.php Why No Padlock will also highlight calls to other sites that may still use the http:// protocol and thus rendering your pages as ‘insecure’.
The generic steps to follow, if you want to redirect HTTP to HTTPS are listed below:
- Purchase an SSL certificate: The first requirement for HTTPS is to purchase an SSL certificate for your website. There are many types of SSL certificates available. Select one based on your business needs.
- Install the SSL certificate: Once purchased, the SSL certificate is to be installed on your website. The process requires generating both public and private encryption keys and adding them using the Web hosting control panel.
- Update all internal and external links to HTTPS: Ensure all the internal and external links point to the new HTTPS URLs. Internal links include navigation/menu links, images, CSS references etc. If internally the website still references HTTP files, it will break. Make sure to change all external links and local directory listings to point to the new HTTPS website.
- Set up 301 redirects from HTTP to HTTPS Implement a permanent 301 redirect for every HTTP page to redirect to the HTTPS counterpart. This way the search engines are notified that the site’s addresses have changed. Also, any bookmarks to a page on your site are automatically redirected to the https address.
- Add all variants of the website site in Webmaster Tools: Add the HTTPS website as a new property in the webmaster tools account.
HINT: Check with your host if they have a server wide SSL Certificate that can be used – with the rapid changes being forced upon web sites by Google, Chrome and Firefox many hosts have anticipated this and installed site wide SSL Certificates at minimal or no cost to their clients. Then all you need to do is to get someone to attend to the rewrite of your .htaccess file (in a LAMP – Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP – environment)
Google lists these best practices when switching to HTTPS:
- Decide if you need a single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate.
- Use 2048-bit key certificates to generate a CSR on the web server.
- Use relative URLs for resources that are in the same secure domain
- Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
- Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
- Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the no index robots Meta tag.
- Google has also updated Google Webmaster Tools to better handle HTTPS sites and the reporting on them.
- Track your HTTP to HTTPS migration carefully in your analytics software and within Google Webmaster Tools.
More Info on From HTTP to HTTPS for MyPR – To your continuing success here: https://mypr.co.za/free-south-african-press-releases/