First off, sorry for my english. I am currently developing a new website that may be deployed in early 2017. This site may contain user login but that may be shipped later in that year.

Now, I googled about https and I hear mixed opinions, google wants the web in https and may punish those who don't use https in the future. Mozilla will also favor https over http for its Firefox. Let's Encrypt make it for free. So far so good.

What is worrying me is I read that many sites that switched to https suffered much lower revenues of adsense (I read also some terrible things about seo and ranking suffering after switching) and many returned again to http.

How much truth is in the suffering of revenues due to switching to https? My website is still in development so I have actually no links needed to be reindexed. My site isn't a blog type. It mainly provides profiles on local artists in my country.

The problem is I need every penny to cover the server and cdn hosting costs. I can't be sure how much using https will hurt the revenues.


1 Answer 1


For existing sites, switching from HTTP to HTTPS is in effect, starting over. All the ranking factors and metrics have to be rebuilt from scratch including links, trust metrics, etc. This is why all the negative hype.

Switching from HTTP to HTTPS is disruptive and why people complain. It did not occur to them that there would be an additional cost to switching from HTTP to HTTPS. Conceptually, anytime there can be different content served, it is a new site. However, going beyond that, each domain name, no matter how it appears, for example, www.example.com versus example.com are stored in the index as separate sites. This includes HTTP versus HTTPS. There is a good reason for this despite the tradition where these sites wold normally be the same. Each of these sites within the index has to build trust and domain metrics all on their own. The largest factors would be trust and links.

If you do not have a HTTP site and start with HTTPS, then there is no downside. You are not starting over but rather building metrics for a single site. For the record, Google may be a 900 pound gorilla, however, it does not make the rules. Each time it tries, it gets shutdown. Yes. Google wants the world to be HTTPS, however, it is fully your right to use HTTP and they will just have to deal with it. HTTP does make sense most of the time.

Here is some of the backlash:


Here is where HTTPS helps.

Other than the obvious security argument which is a powerful one for both the user and web site owner, HTTPS is a trust metric that positively effects a sites Trust score. Today, there are many factors that can outweigh the effect of HTTPS, however, Google is making noises that HTTPS will have more than a the slight score increase it is today. And that makes sense.

Considering the quality of the certificate, some companies do vet who they are giving certificates to, the value of the certificate can ensure to any search engine that the site ownership is actually verifiable. Google does use registration details in evaluating site trust, however, having an additional layer of vetting helps with trusting a site.

As far as earnings with Adsense HTTP versus HTTPS, there is no difference. Any complaint is a result of the disruption in switching from HTTP to HTTPS.

  • Thanks @closetnoc for this detailed answer. That was ultimately clear for the seo part. But are you sure about the adsense thing? I've seen many talking about the real reduction of revenues when using https. [This conversation may be a good example] (news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10928142). It seems many ad companies working with google still only use http. The very confusing thing to me is many very popular websites like news websites still don't use https for a reason. Maybe this really would hurt their ad revenues which is essential to them to survive. Aug 15, 2016 at 3:04
  • I can't upvote you because I have no sufficient points. I will make this as accepted if no one wrote another answer in the upcoming hours. Aug 15, 2016 at 3:06
  • But are you sure about the adsense thing? That is the consensus here anyway. As well, you really do not see many questions regarding Adsense revenue drops switching to HTTPS here either. If you do, it is a result of the disruption. I am sure you are fine. Afterall, G wants to make money and will do anything to keep that revenue stream going. It is only 80+/- billion dollars. Cheers!!
    – closetnoc
    Aug 15, 2016 at 4:39

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