Does Switching To HTTPS Makes Sense for Blogs?


HTTPS settings for blogsOn August 2014 Google took everyone by surprise when they introduced turning on HTTPS as a ranking signal. Which means any site or blog which has shifted all its content from an insecure HTTP  connection to a secure HTTPS connection will get a slight boost in their search ranking. But wait! that is not the end of the story. Making this shifting is the most complex shift ever for webmasters because it involves both risks, complexity and a lot of extra cost on your annual webhosting charges thanks to the fairly expensive SSL certificates. BlogSpot users however have the cost advantage here because Google has announced assigning free HTTPS on blogs hosted with the free '.blogspot.com' extension. No announcements have been yet made for allowing HTTPS support for custom domains but I am sure that news will arrive soon within next few months. This post consists of a tutorial series that will guide you step by step with all details related to turning on HTTPS in Blogger by taking care of SEO in mind.

Note: Click the Button below to see full list of topics under discussion.

Topics List

Have you Read?

Before you may read this tutorial series kindly check these posts which gives all insights on HTTPS to answer all your answers revolving around HTTPS myths and pitfalls and their pros and cons:

  1. How Does The Google HTTPS Ranking Factor Work?
  2. Google Now Giving Secure Sites A Boost In Ranking
  3. Is HTTPS Ranking Boost Really Worth The Effort?
  4. How To Enable AdSense On HTTPS Sites?

What is the difference between HTTP   and HTTPS ?

The basic difference between the two in layman terms is that website URLS which begin with HTTPS are much secure for browsing and transaction purposes compared to websites having HTTP in the URL. The basic difference is Privacy and Protection of the exchanged data between your server computer and your visitors computer. There is no man-in-the-middle for HTTPS connection, which means HTTPS sites are most difficult to hack compared to HTTP hosted sites.

  • HTTPS URLs begin with "https://"  whereas HTTP URLs begin with "http://"
  • HTTP is not encrypted and is vulnerable Hacker attacks
  • HTTPS is encrypted by Transport Layer Security (TLS) and designed to withstand all hacker attacks. Such attacks include tampering, eavesdropping and modifying webpages to inject malware or advertisements.
  • Blogspot blogs with no HTTPS enabled see this message alert in browser address bar

blogspot blog with HTTPS disabled

  • Blogger blogs with HTTPS turned on display the following message in browser address bars:

blogspot blog with HTTPS enabled

Due to these reasons Google now strongly recommends that webmasters may shift to HTTPS to make web more secure for its users. The gift in return that Google will give is a Ranking Boost in search results.

Google Employee Zineb wrote on Official Google blog:

We've seen positive results, so we're starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now it's only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content — while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS.

Should you Turn on HTTPS for your Blog?

HTTPS was previously used by Ecommerce sites or Email delivery sites where confidential information is exchanged but from 2014 onwards it is no more limited to Money transactions or Email delivery, it is gradually being adopted by all major Social media sites, video portals, blogs and corporate sites. As you can notice that Google, Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia and many related sites have already upgraded to HTTPS but what about blogs and related CMS?

Almost every site uses HTTPS today either in their checkout or registration pages or in side the Comment Login pages. Even all Blogger blogs does use HTTPS already in the comment form which sends data back-and-forth between the browser and Google servers.

But very few sites use HTTPS sitewide as indicated by the latest survey from BuiltWith, only 2.6% of the top million sites redirect users to SSL/HTTPS by default and less than 0.1% of all websites in entire internet have switched to HTTPS. Which means the percentage is extremely small but with every year, it will surely increase and will become a must-to-adopt criteria for ranking.

2015 Statistics for Sites using HTTPS

I have not seen popular blogs such as Mashable and techCrunch switching to HTTPS yet but SEO blogs like that of MOZ and some News blogs like Life Hacker has already adopted HTTPS. Which means gradually blogs are 301 redirecting their URLS from HTTP to HTTP and it wont be long enough before mashable and techCrunch may join the race because after all its about ranking boost.

It's no more about whether or not blogs need a HTTPS encryption but the question is about improvement in search ranking whether you value it or not. So I would really recommend that you shift to HTTPS the moment blogger announces HTTPS support for custom domains as far as .blogspot.com domains are concerned, I will first recommend them to switch to a custom domain to seriously treat blogging and then think of making this SEO shift. A custom domain just costs $10 a year, less than the cost of your daily food expense so why not buy a domain?

In my coming tutorials I will share the costs and risks involved with shifting to HTTPS and the solutions to it.

Have Questions?

If you need help with respect to any concept do post your comment below. Kindly do not switch to HTTPS for your blogSpot blog at present and first wait for coming tutorials to implement it correctly because you can surely loose all your PageRank juice and backlinks if the 301 redirection is not done properly. Peace and blessings buddies!

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  1. That's good Mustafa.
    I'm waiting for next part of this post.
    Thansk

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    1. Coming tutorials are extremely important and interesting where we will actually explain that why should you avoid applying HTTPS to your .blogspot.com domains at present and better wait for the announcement to be made for custom domains. Thank you for staying tuned buddy =>

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  2. I don't mind paying a little extra to Google to have my custom domain plus https service!

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    Replies
    1. That is an excellent decision. Having a custom domain and then applying all such SEO upgrades makes a lot of sense. I am sure your experience will change threefold after buying a custom domain dear david :)

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  3. Nice Post Bro ! Really Informative For Newbies Who Don't Know Anything About Encryption's.
    BTW will you suggest to redirect from http version to https and when i use https version of my blog the green lock is not showing instead just https:// is written.
    Please Tell Me The Problem :)
    ~Thank You

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In my next post I will describe why you should avoid turning on HTTPS at this moment and wait for blogger to announce it for custom domains first. As you mentioned there are some redirection errors involved with the current HTTPS settings that blogger offered and I will pin point them in my coming tutorials.

      At this point, just get more familiar on what HTTPS actually is and how to fix the mixed content issue. We will cover them all in this series dear Nitishk =)

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  4. Awesome post. I am waiting for continue.

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  5. Mustafa if that is so can i ask why havent you shifted to https yet????

    Ali Rao

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HTTPS is yet not available for custom domains in Blogger blogs. The moment they allow it, we will be the first to roll over. =)

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