From October 2018 onwards, Google will mark all HTTP websites with the ominous, red-colored Note secure text. Their aim is to encourage website providers to get on with compliancy matters. “Nah. I’m not afraid.” No, no. If your website is tagged with that note secure text, it may discourage potential visitors from clicking through to your site. Let’s find out more about the importance of HTTPS compliance:
By now, you might already know that HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It is a set of rules used to transfer files, e.g. videos, sounds, images, and text, on the World Wide Web. So, in terms of HTTPS, that S stands for Secure Sockets Layer or SSL. It is a newer technology that encrypts your website connection. This prevents potential hackers from knowing what your data contains and then stealing it. Additionally, SSL helps to keep important information such as login and banking details secure.
How Much SEO Value Does HTTPS Have?
Simply put, loads of SEO value. If you placed a HTTP-based website beside a HTTPS one, guess which website will the Google search engine pick? HTTPS, hands down. Major search engines will always prefer websites that are Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. Hence, they have a clear advantage over websites that are stuck with the older protocol. If you perform a quick search, you will notice that most websites that made it to the top of Google’s SERPs are HTTPS compliant.
So, why does the Google algorithm favor HTTPS? Easy. Google wants to prioritize secure websites. In fact, the company is striving toward its long-term goal of ensuring that one day the whole web will be secure. They are recommending that even for websites that do not handle sensitive information, they should switch to HTTPS. That is also the reason why Chrome users have been receiving security warnings every time they visit a website that is served by HTTP.
What Does it Mean for Mobile Technology?
Modern businesses and mobile technology go hand in hand. There’s no denying that. Today, websites are recommended to feature a mobile-first design. By being mobile-friendly, your site’s page loading speed significantly improves. That’s not all. Google has created Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). This technology is also designed to speed up loading times on mobile devices. With that in mind, AMP content has a better chance of clinching a prominent seat in SERPs. What’s the catch? Correct. Your website MUST be served by HTTPS. You can expect more and more progressive web applications and newer generations of browsers to be designed with HTTPS in mind.
How Does HTTPS Make Websites More Secure?
It can be quite off-putting when you try to access a site that welcomes you with a red security warning screen. That is why you want your website to be secure and appear trustable from the get-go. HTTPS can do that. What’s more, it has the ability to protect you and your visitors against man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks. MitM attacks tend to be launched from networks that are insecure or compromised. These attacks can steal your customer’s sensitive information. With HTTPS stepping up the need for authentication, users will interact only with the website they intended to access. Scammers can no longer masquerade as your website and trick visitors into giving up their information.
Should You Switch to HTTPS?
If you want to miss out on potential leads and traffic, don’t switch to HTTPS.
If you are on the same page with Google, i.e. moving toward a safer web, choose HTTPS!