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Ssl & Seo


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8 replies to this topic

#1 KarenC

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 02:42 PM

Can having an SSL on a site affect SEO? Does it create canolization issues? If so, what are ways around it?

Thanks

#2 Michael Martinez

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 07:12 PM

As long as you use only absolute URLs in your internal links you should be okay.

#3 Alan Perkins

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 05:38 AM

QUOTE(kalidust @ Jan 6 2011, 07:42 PM) View Post
Can having an SSL on a site affect SEO? Does it create canolization issues? If so, what are ways around it?


Often when you have an SSL site you'll find that many of the URLs are available under both http and https. So yes, this can definitely create duplicate content/canonicalization issues.

If you're looking to implement an SSL site then you can address this up front.

If you're in the position where you have a long-established SSL site, with some inbound links to http pages and other inbound links to https pages, you have a number of options to deal with this, including use of robots.txt and the canonical tag. However, IMO the best solution is, for each http/https URL pair, to decide the better URL for indexing (e.g. the http one) and redirect the other one (e.g. the https one) to it using a 301 redirect.

The rule of thumb I use in duplicate content cases applies equally to SSL issues: each piece of unique content, indexed once, at the best URL for it.

#4 Jill

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 09:31 AM

QUOTE
and redirect the other one (e.g. the https one) to it using a 301 redirect.


But if you redirect the https to the http doesn't that defeat the purpose of having it in the first place?

#5 Alan Perkins

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Posted 09 January 2011 - 05:35 PM

QUOTE
But if you redirect the https to the http doesn't that defeat the purpose of having it in the first place?


It would if it really needed to be https. But in that case, you'd redirect the http to the https instead.

It's very often the case with https sites that the whole site is available in both http and https, whereas only part of the site needed to be https, and the rest could be http. You really do have to ask yourself, in most cases, why a marketing page, such as you'd want to be indexed by a search engine and be a landing page for your site, needed to be on a https protocol. In most instances it doesn't. And since we know that https pages are slower than http pages, and page download times are a ranking factor, it makes sense to use http pages for SEO whenever possible.

Once your visitor moves from a landing page into, say, a shopping cart, then https may become more appropriate.

#6 cfreek

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 10:02 AM

I tend to add a rule to the .htaccess file (modification of a tip from Randy a while back).

CODE
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} =on
RewriteRule ^robots.txt$ /robots-ssl.txt [PT,L]


I then add any need Disallow rules to the SSL version of the robots.txt file (robots-ssl.txt) or, in most cases, Disallow everything.

#7 piskie

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 04:39 AM

QUOTE
Alan Perkins
And since we know that https pages are slower than http pages

As a matter of interest Alan, ignoring Server Host inertia, what is the (ball park) difference in load time for http vs https. Also are you aware of the comparative speeds of the different SSL Cert issuers ??

#8 Alan Perkins

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 05:09 AM

QUOTE(piskie @ Jan 12 2011, 09:39 AM) View Post
As a matter of interest Alan, ignoring Server Host inertia, what is the (ball park) difference in load time for http vs https. Also are you aware of the comparative speeds of the different SSL Cert issuers ??


It depends. See the Stack Overflow HTTP vs HPPS Q&A for a discussion of the main factors. What's clear is that all other things being equal HTTPS cannot be quicker than HTTP on the same site, which is the point I was making.

#9 KarenC

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 08:52 AM

Great feedback - thank you.




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