The web has been moving towards HTTPS first since Google announced its HTTPS Everywhere campaign in 2014. Today, more than 70% of the top 1,000 websites in the HTTP Archive and almost 70% of Mozilla Firefox traffic is encrypted through HTTPS.
Two of the main reasons given for migrating your site to HTTPS are privacy (think Edward Snowden and bad actors tapping your internet traffic) and improved rankings in Google Search. Although both are valid and good reasons, there is a more important SEO opportunity not to be missed.
There is no good single source that lists only gaming sites. However, we can look at some of the new global top-level domains such as .bet, .poker and .casino. In addition, let’s also have a look at all the .com domain name registrations with the words “poker” and “casino” in the domain name. What we find is rather surprising.
From the 1,041 domains in .poker for which the root domain returned a HTTP 200 status we find only 2.2% being served on HTTPS. From the 2,024 domains in .casino it’s 6.2%. From the 6,591 domains in .bet it’s 8.2%. From the 26,027 domains containing the word “poker” it’s 3.3%. From the 42,932 domains containing the word “casino” it’s only 7.7% being served on HTTPS.
So, on average well under 10% of these gaming-related domains are served over HTTPS. Even if a significant number of these are parked or not yet fully developed as gaming sites, this still does not bring the number anywhere close to 70%. So, from this sample we have to conclude that there are a lot of potential gaming sites that are marked as not secure in most browsers.
Right now, but only if you have not migrated your site to HTTPS, you have a unique and exciting opportunity to significantly improve your Google rankings!
How, you may be wondering? Well, as part of migrating to HTTPS, Google has to re-crawl all the URLs of your site and this means re-indexing and updating every SEO signal your site has in the Google index. This is a unique opportunity because, except for when moving domain names, Google does not normally fully re-index and update all its SEO signals just for your site. So, you can improve your SEO signals in the Google index and thereby directly improve your Google rankings.
To capitalise on this unique opportunity you will need to do an SEO audit ASAP. Hire an SEO expert to review your site and have your development team standing ready to implement the recommendations to improve the SEO signals. Make sure you hire an SEO expert from outside your company to give you that extra pair of eyes that may see things your team may havemissed. If this means waiting a few moreweeks, or a couple of months, don’t fret – it will be worth it.
Keep in mind that this is a unique and one-time opportunity and should not be wasted if you are serious about your Google ranking. Once you have done your audit and improved all the SEO signals of the site, be sure to follow the recommended steps in the ultimate SEO guide for moving to HTTPS at online.marketing/guide/https.