SSL Web Sites Don't Get Ranking Boost In Google

Apr 8, 2013 • 8:43 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google SSL Web sitesA Google+ thread has Michael Mahemoff asking what are the SEO pros and cons of switching your whole web site to SSL. The switch would change the URLs from to

Google's John Mueller said Google indexes https URLs just fine and ranks https URLs just fine. But there is no special ranking you boost you would get from having your whole site on SSL.

John said, "HTTPS-only sites are fine, there's absolutely no need to shy away from that if you implement it properly." He added, "there's certainly no penalty involved with running your site on HTTPS-only when done right." But does it benefit you? John said no, he said "just as there is no inherent disadvantage, there is also no ranking-advantage from using SSL in web-search, so I wouldn't use it in the vague hope that Google's algorithms will value the website more."

Then John offers advice if you do go the SSL route:

  • don't forget the http->https redirect & other canonicalization things
  • look into HSTS
  • list the https site separately in webmaster tools (it's a different site)
  • make sure the infrastructure can handle the higher load (SSL, caching, etc)
  • check out the differences wrt. caching

Note, when making a switch to http to https, Google will treat it essentially like you are moving to a new domain. So make sure you handle everything you would, as if you would be moving to a new domain. Should you switch? I wouldn't at this point. But it depends on what you are doing on your web site.

Forum discussion at Google+.

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Thomas M. Schmitz

04/08/2013 08:09 pm

The deal breaker for me is how many analytic tools cannot handle SSL.

Soni Sharma

04/09/2013 04:35 am

Thanks for sharing this info. I have noticed good ranking of SSL websites.


04/09/2013 05:21 am

I was really unaware of the fact that google treats http and https as different urls. So, this is also canonical issue and must resolved through 301 redirection.


04/09/2013 06:52 am

Interesting! Most people treat SSL sites as a more "trusting" kind of site. Question is, if Google already indicated that it does not hold any benefit and disadvantage, is it worth the hassle of converting? Though it is quite tempting to do some tests and see some statistical difference using


04/09/2013 12:08 pm

Most of the DS & SBM sites are not accepting https websites, I faced lot of issues while moving our website from http to https... So please don't move your websites from http to https, you will loose your rankings!


04/09/2013 01:10 pm

Wow this is some interesting stuff.Was always wondering about HTTPS sites.Yeah one would think that since you are providing a more "trusting" kind of site, that Google would at least see it as being of value to end-users..


10/01/2013 01:07 am

We tried moving to SSL entirely and it totally crushed out our page rank terribly. I think SSL slows down the page requests and for one you lose points for being slower. They say "if done right" and don't elaborate on the tons of work and money you have to put in to ensure you've done it perfectly, otherwise the slow-down or duplicate URLs that are common with SSL transitions will hurt rank terribly. After getting entirely over to SSL, we ditched it and went back to non-ssl and our rank slowly returned over about 3 months. It was not worth it. Just make sure your logged-in pages or your checkout / payment pages are secure, google doesn't need to crawls those URLs anyway.

Design A

04/30/2014 10:03 pm

Not if you're on a great server.


05/13/2014 01:01 pm

How about providing some resources for HSTS -

Blake Petersen

05/13/2014 11:58 pm

RewriteCond %{HTTPS} =off RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [R=301,L] ^--- the "tons of work and money" OG_Sean is referring to to do it right, lol

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