IS HTTPS A STRONG RANKING FACTOR?
To Google, one letter makes a huge difference– at least when we’re talking HTTPS vs. HTTP. Since 2014, the big G has been strongly encouraging websites to convert to SSL. Though it’s not yet resulted in a proper Google update, there have been rankings boots for following suit.
Earlier this year, Search Engine Journal collected data supporting the correlation between websites who made the HTTPS switch and Google’s first page rankings. In the piece, they outline SearchMetrics data indicating HTTPS encryption is up 12% since 2015 and that 45% of the top websites all use it to protect their online data.
So, now the multi-billion dollar question: is your website secure? Today we delve a little deeper, unpacking all that’s contained in one tiny letter. (Hint: n Http(s) the s=secure.)
Understanding Secure Socket Layers
As trusted Search Engine Optimization specialists, we field a lot of web security questions. Curious about what a secure socket layer is and what it protects against? Allow us to elaborate.
For simplification purposes, an SSL encryption creates a safe link between a host’s server and a browser. Without it, any data that’s shared over the connection remains fully public and highly susceptible.
How do you know when a site is secure and protected? Look to the upper left-hand corner of your Google browser next to the website. You’ll see a closed lock that turns green to indicate your data is secure and protected.
How Important is an HTTPS site?
The vast majority of #1-ranking websites have a secure socket layer on top of their site. By year’s end that number is expected to increase to more than 65%.
However, your Google ranking isn’t the only risk you’re taking by waiting to roll out a full HTTPS conversation. Without a designated SSL certificate to protect your site, you’re left susceptible to information theft. That means your customers are, too.
And really, what company doesn’t want to make their website harder to hack? Not only will fixing a hack drain your IT budget, but you also leave your operation open to lawsuits from those whose information was compromised.
Why Hasn’t there Been a SSL Oriented Google Update?
If it seems odd that something so critical hasn’t been addressed in an official Google update, you’re not alone. The official word is that the internet powers that be are awaiting big sites like Wikipedia to fully secure themselves before making an official rollout.
Ultimately, your users have an expectation of safety when they visit your site. If you haven’t converted to HTTPS yet, don’t wait until there’s a problem. We’ll help you do it. Stay ahead to keep from falling behind, and let us secure your SSL certificate.