Encryption, Web Safety & HTTPS
In December 2016, we wrote about Google’s quest to make the web a safer place with HTTPS. The search engine publically announced they give an SEO edge for those websites who adopt URLs with this added layer of protection. Now the web is abuzz with rumors that the Chrome browser may mark HTTP websites as unsafe. Let’s dig into what’s fact, what’s not and how you should manage your website.
Official Google Reports
First, let’s examine what Google has officially released to the press and published on the web:
- Google’s Webmaster Central blog — in August 2014 they announced that HTTPS is a ranking signal. In the blog article, they mention their quest to make the web a safer place for users, citing that webmasters need to prevent and fix security breaches on their websites. And now, they have announced that they will be warning all web browsers who visit a non HTTPS site.
- Google I/O 2014 — a long time ago now, but a session was dedicated to HTTPS everywhere. If you want to geek out… watch the video. Google have been chasing this idea for some time.
- On Google+ — John Mueller, Google’s spokesperson, goes on record with a social media post, again pretty far back. If you want to get into some detail… read the thread of comments and questions.
- Search Console Help –There’s a step-by-step guide on how to secure your site with HTTPS.
Ok, I think the signals are crystal clear. Google likes HTTPS. They want websites to be on HTTPS. They encourage Webmasters to switch to HTTPS. Their message hasn’t wavered since Summer 2014. Now for the unofficial reports that are worrying Webmasters.
Is It Time for HTTP Websites to Move?
From an SEO perspective, my answer is yes. Google has told Webmasters that they will get a slight boost in organic rankings. Just make sure when you make the switch that all your technical “i”s are dotted and your “t”s are crossed. You don’t want to inadvertently lose your hard-earned SEO equity. This is an excellent time to read through Google’s step-by-step guide or get a professional to help you navigate the process.
From a brand reputation perspective, my answer is yes. Upgrading your website’s security protocol is a wise investment. It’s not that expensive, but it speaks volumes. Your company wants to protect it’s visitors’ information.
Now that we’ve separated fact from rumor, are you going to switch to HTTPS?
How can we help?
Want to upgrade your website to HTTPS? Looking to have your site professional managed?
We are The Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.