If you are looking for that tiny SSL search boost for your website, or are being proactive for when Google decides to ramp up their SSL search signal, John Mueller talked a little bit about it in today’s search hangout.
One thing we learned is that the SSL ranking boost has an actual name, TLS, which stands for Transport Layer Security for those familiar with online security, and is the new name for what most people call SSL. The longer version is a somewhat clunky name, but Mueller revealed that is is called TLS internally.
He was asked specifically whether a website needs to have all pages secure in order to benefit from the boost or if just having secured pages on some of the site would benefit the site sidewide.
Some websites, when they decide to implement SSL, choose to only add it to certain parts of their site, such as the checkout process or on pages that holds personal information. But be aware that you only get that boost on pages that are SSL.
This makes a lot of sense, as it would be easy for someone to set up a “token SSL page” for the ranking benefit, while leaving the rest of the site unsecure for whatever reason.
From my point of view, you might as well put it everywhere. So we look at the URLs that are actually indexed and the way they are indexed and we check to see if the SSL is working there, or the TLS, the new name is TLS, to kind of determine whether or not we should use it as the small ranking factor there.
This is per URL so its not that we are specifically looking for a checkout process and and saying well only this needs to be secure, it’s really per URL, and if these are landing pages on your website where you’re getting traffic through search then we will use that there.
So it’s definitely something I would put across the whole website, I don’t see much of a reason to kind of hold back on not putting it across the whole website.
He does acknowledge it isn’t just a quick and easy process to implement it though.
Obviously there is a lot of technical work in implementing HTTPS across a website, you have to make sure all the embedded content is also HTTPS and all of that, so it’s not something where I’d just switch it on to HTTPS and hope everything works. I would really try to go through and make sure that you are doing everything right.
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