SSL & SEO – Is SSL a Ranking Factor?

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Hi and welcome. My name is Harald Tschuggnall from, and in today’s video I want to talk about SSL. So the certificate that you can get for your website. The point is, should you move to SSL if yo have a website? Is it good for SEO? Is it a ranking boost? I want to talk about this topic today.

If you start a new website, I would totally recommend to go straight to SSL. Don’t start without SSL because later on, you would have to swap over, or you would have to change it. In a moment, Google is pushing SSL quite hard and I wouldn’t really say it’s a ranking factor. If I would consider it as a ranking factor, I would probably say it’s about 1% if it’s even 1%.

But we never know what’s going to happen in the future. So if yo have the chance now to start with SSL, just do it. Of course you need a little money, but you can get an SSL certificates for small money already, so I really recommend it.

The other point is if you have a website already, should you move to SSL? That changed a little over the last weeks, actually. Before it was really quite critical, I would say. I’ve seen a lot of clients, I’ve seen a lot of projects where the clients switched from non-SSL to SSL and they really did everything right. They made all the redirects, they updated the XML site maps, they did the domain change in search console, they did everything right, actually. But it happened really that they almost lost all of their rankings.

I checked some of the projects and I couldn’t really see an issue. It seems to me that Google recalculated all the ranking signals and recalculated everything, and I have to say there have been websites … They served somehow to rank, but it was shop related, so a lot of products there with no unique content and stuff like that. The websites are quite good brands, but you could actually see that something was going on. So I had the feeling that Google was recalculating everything, and they really dropped quite hard. Now they are slowly, slowly recovering, but that was quite a big issue. Just imagine if you overnight almost lose all your rankings.

That was about half a year ago, I would say. In the last weeks, in the last month, we’ve done some changes to SSL and I’ve seen other projects. Actually these projects and these changes have always been successful. From the day on, we implemented the SSL, the new certificate, actually the rankings went up straightaway. Now I’ve got the feeling Google is able to understand the connection much better.

Of course, you really have to make sure that yo do everything right. You need to set 301 redirects, you need to update the XML site map, you need to make sure you don’t have any static links somewhere. So if you used to write a blog post, for example, and put in a static link that is still HTTP, you shouldn’t have that. You should have it changed.

Of course you should also set up a new property, a new https property in search console. If you used to have a disavow file, make sure you’re moving the disavow file also to the new property to make sure the bad links don’t count. And then you really need to check everything. You need to monitor that. It would be good to look at search visibility or at least monitor your rankings. If you see that something is dropping, make sure you check it or you get somebody to check it for you.

Also very important, of course that the canonical tag will be changed. Your CMS system should change that automatically if you change to the main, but please make sure that also the canonical tag will be automatically changed and not run under the old system. That would be a really bad issue.

So these days, if you want to swap to SSL, I would say be careful, prepare everything, make a plan how to switch, and it should be all right. I haven’t seen any major issues in the last weeks anymore.

I hope that helps, and if you need any help let me know, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Bye-bye, see you.


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2 thoughts on “SSL & SEO – Is SSL a Ranking Factor?

  1. Andrei-Sorin Baciu

    can you please tell me what kind of ssl certificate do i need? is a cheap one 15euro/year good?

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