Soon, if Google has its way, one letter in your website’s URL could mean the difference between getting traffic and turning people away.
That letter is ‘s’ – as in HTTPS. And if your website doesn’t have that letter marking it as a secure website, Google will make you pay.
What Is HTTPS?
Websites by default have http:// in front of their website name. HTTP is an unsecured website. By contrast, https:// signifies that the website has secure HTTP – meaning information sent between the visitor’s computer and the site is protected and confidential.
Put another way, a site with HTTPS is encrypted in a way that data is secure from people who might be looking for it. What a user shares with a website is protected and kept between the website and the user.
Why Secure HTTP, or HTTPS, Matters to SEO
Recently, Google announced a big change for their Chrome browser, one of the most popular browsers in the world. Beginning in October 2017, Chrome will give a big, noticeable “NOT SECURE” warning whenever you visit an unsecured HTTP website and enter information on a form.
Soon after, Google will display “NOT SECURE” warnings on every HTTP website.
Why the change?
Google is making this change because it understands the importance of protecting the privacy of people who use the search engine. If Google’s users have their information stolen by visiting a website, they’ll lose trust in Google – and that will cost them precious revenue.
To reinforce this change, Google’s SEO algorithm is showing preference to websites who have HTTPS security. Put another way, if your website is unsecured with regular HTTP, you’ll have less opportunity to rank as high as a website that has HTTPS, all other things considered equal.
What Can You Do?
If your website is unsecured, it’s okay – you can fix it. Your website provider should be able to encrypt your website through Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol, which protects exchanged data so it can’t be modified and authenticates a user’s visit.
Talk to your website host or provider to discuss how you can get that ‘s’ in front of your URL to signify secure HTTP – and not only help boost your SEO rankings, but also reinforce your visitor’s confidence in you, your business, and your website.
Looking for more information about HTTPS? We can help. Contact us today