Upgrading your site to HTTPS
Google and industry security experts have written countless posts about upgrading your site to HTTPS from the HTTP protocol, but not many website owners have done it. Google has now gotten serious about it and has made 2 significant changes that in reality force everyone to make the change.
Google Chrome NOT SECURE ! Warning
Back in September 2016 Google announced on it’s security blog that as of January 2017 (now) that it would start warning site visitors that the site they are visiting is not secure. We are starting to see this happening now with login pages and checkouts.
Google advises that they plan in future upgrade versions of the Chrome browser to label all HTTP pages as non-secure, and change the HTTP security indicator to the red triangle. This alone will kill any website.
This is important now because as of May 2016 Google Chrome over took Internet Explorer as the worlds most used web browser.
Google Search favours HTTPS sites over HTTP
In August 2014 Google announced that it was including HTTPS as a positive ranking signal in its search algorithm. It makes sense that Google would prefer to send users to sites that are trusted and certified.
HTTPS gives far greater security than HTTP and in addition to Google stated preference for it there are additional SEO benefits.
Increased site ranking in Google.
Google has confirmed the slight ranking boost of HTTPS sites and the value of switching to HTTPS is very likely to increase over time.
Analytics Traffic Referrer Data.
When traffic passes to an HTTPS site, the secure referral information is preserved. In HTTP sites it is stripped away and looks as though it is “direct” traffic.
Security and privacy.
HTTPS adds security for your SEO goals and website in several ways:
- It verifies that the website is the one the server it is supposed to be talking to
- It prevents tampering by third parties.
- It makes your site more secure for visitors.
- It encrypts all communication, including URLs, which protects things like browsing history and credit card numbers.
Clearly while you may have been able to delay upgrading your site to HTTPS, that time has past. Upgrading now will ensure
- Website visitors are not scared off by the Google Chrome browser warnings
- You and your site are in Googles good books and keep up with them.
- Google search ranking benefits for your site
- Far greater security for your site and your visitors and customers.
It is obvious that we all want out sites to be ranked as highly as possible in Google search to bring traffic to our sites. Once they are on the site we want them to stay as long as possible so we can build trust with them.
I recommend not only upgrading your site to HTTPS secure protocol, but in fact you should be making doing this your number one priority for your website in 2017.