It's been years in the making, but it seems that in the next few weeks, if not already, Google and potentially other website browsers will begin marking non-https websites as 'not secure'.
Armed with this knowledge, and the fact that Google has previously stated that it may take https and SSL certificates into consideration when ranking websites in their search rankings, it may now finally be the time for SEOs and website owners to take the plunge and move over to https!
What is HTTPS?
HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure and is an internet communication protocol that 'protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user's computer and the website.' Essentially, it increases a website's level of security in three ways;
It will encrypt the exchanged data to keep it secure from 'eavesdroppers'. This basically means that while the user is browsing a website, nobody else can 'listen' to their conversations, steal their information or track their activities across multiple pages of the site.
This means that data cannot be corrupted or modified during transfer, either intentionally or otherwise, without being detected.
This proves that users communicate with the intended website. Not only that but it also protects against 'man-in-the-middle' attacks and improves users trust, which translates into other business benefits.
Why will it prove more and more important?
Aside from the security benefits listed above, moving to https could also have benefits for your website's search engine ranking potential too.
Even back in 2014, Google announced that going https would give you a minor ranking boost, although only counting as a 'very lightweight signal' within the overall ranking algorithm. While it only had an impact on fewer than 1% of global queries, they did indicate that the signal might be strengthened in the future, because they want to 'encourage all website owners to switch from http to https to keep everyone safe on the web.'
In addition, making the switch to https also helps with the loss of referral data that occurs when the referral value in the header is dropped when switching from a secure website to an unsecured one.
Why browsers will start marking non-https sites as 'not secure'
Quite simply, it's been coming for quite a while now. Google and other internet browser owners have been warning us all for some time now that they will be moving in this direction. But why?
Well, that all lies with the user. Website visitor security and user trust is considered absolutely vital these days and with good reason. Website users are far less likely to go back to a website if they don't trust it. Similarly, Google and the other search engines don't want to be promoting websites that aren't secure or ones that are dangerous to the user.
Why should you consider moving over now?
There are two very important reasons why you should already be thinking about moving your website to https - security and credibility.
It's fairly obvious to say, but security is the most important reason why many website owners should, and are already, considering moving to https. Having a secure website, and especially having one branded as such online, will ensure that your website is trusted by internet browsers and visitors alike.
Websites that deal with financial information, such as e-commerce websites, also need to be as secure as humanly possible. They simply cannot afford to mishandle information or suffer from an attack.
Thankfully, with https, you will be able to protect more information and maintain your website's solid reputation. This is especially crucial for an online business that handles such personal information.
Tied in to a website's level of security is its credibility amongst its peers, visitors and search engines alike. In fact, a recent study by Globalsign, an SSL and internet company, found that 9 out of 10 internet users were more likely to trust a website if it displayed security indicators.
Similarly, the study found that the green https lock sign that appears on your browser when visiting an https site provides a greater sense of security and a reassurance that the user's personal information is safe while they're browsing and using the site.
So you've decided to move to https; now what?
There are plenty of things that will need to be done to your website before it's moved over to https! But don't worry; that's what the experts are for! From starting with a test server to procuring a security certificate, installing it on the server and updating various tags, plugins, modules, settings and old redirects, that will all be taken care of for you by an experienced web design company. Such as the Smart Domain Group!
All it takes is one phone call to us, especially if you're already a client of ours, and we will start the process of moving your site to https! So call us today on 0800 772 0047 to discuss how we can help you move your small business website over to https.
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