HTTP or HTTPS site? Google tells us which one is better

Google says HTTPS versions are better than redirecting with HTTP. Why? Let’s find out.

John Mueller, Google’s search advocate has something new for all of us. He recently informed us that replacing HTTP links with HTTPS versions instead is much more favorable. And the reasons behind are countless.

It all started years ago. It was declared that redirects, when already in place, shouldn't be replaced with links. Since then, people have abided by this. However, times have changed and as Mueller informs us, it is better to replace redirects with links now. He insisted that it is 'always' worth it to replace them.

Now, why does he insist so? He gave two reasons to support his comment. The first one is that redirects are messier, and are a lot to handle. While on the other hand, HTTPS versions are more secure and concise. There is no need for numerous redirects. Secondly, when you place HTTPS versions, you have complete control over where you direct your traffic.

The main question here is if these links will have any impact on how your search ranks. The answer is no impact. There would be no change in your ranking or how your content appears, however it would be a lot cleaner.

Having redirects instead of HTTPS versions has a lot of disadvantages. Some of them include;

It takes the user more time to reach the content. Since there is a ‘hop’ in the process, where the user has to go through the HTTP version first, delaying the process.

Broken links, redirect chains, and redirect loops are common errors that break a page and lower your credibility.

Pictures on URL sites make your page seem untrustworthy and suspicious. Google displays a ‘not secure’ message when such an instance occurs.

It lowers your crawl budget since the number of redirects you have, the more your crawls will get affected.

If the links on the other end get broken, your redirects will break.

Lastly, here’s a solution. You can just replace the links. You can either replace them one by one, although it will take forever to do that, or you can just mass replace them. Mass replacing will find all your redirects and replace them with HTTPS versions.

However, there is a little problem with that. Doing anything on such a large scale will cause problems. It can cause your whole site to crash hence it is important to always back it up before going ahead with any change.

Read next: Google Experiments With Vertical Navigation and Refinement in Search Engine
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