Securing your site (SSL) is becoming more urgent by the day
Many of you know by now that having your site secured with secure socket layer (SSL or HTTPs) is common practice and mandatory for all websites that handle sensitive information like passwords, credit cards and personal information. However, the theory that Google might be aiming to put an end to standard non-secure sites is now no longer a hunch, it is an admitted goal in a recent post on the Chromium Blog. Building on what we discussed in our last 2017 SEO updates blog, Google has been pushing non-secure sites closer and closer to the proverbial cliff by rewarding sites that are secured and testing out ways to shine a negative light on non-secure sites. So how do they plan to do it?
- Chrome as a weapon. Everyone’s favorite web browser Google Chrome (unless you’re an open-source-Firefox-nerd like this writer) will be used to shine a glaring light on any sites without SSL certification. As Chrome goes, others like IE, Firefox and Safari are sure to follow. The first step was already implemented where pages with logins or credit card forms generate warnings if the site is HTTP. In version 62 of Chrome, a warning with the words “Not Secure” will soon start appearing (in October) on all HTTP pages that contain a any sort of registration, opt-in, contact form, or even search bar on the page–which a vast majority of sites have on their homepages now! It goes without saying that these security warnings may hurt conversions, bounce rates, and more due to visitors being apprehensive about visiting and using your company’s website.
- Rewarding the Secured. According to searchenginenews.com, there has been very modest SEO rankings gains for those early adopters who have already made the switch.
- Eventual banishment of the unsecured? It is Google’s stated goal to make the entire web secure. While it may be a noble goal in theory it does present a potentially dangerous deadline for many businesses. Many in the SEO community believe that there may be a day in the not-so-distant future that all HTTP pages are relegated to dark depths of Google if they aren’t completely de-listed.
Long story short? Now is the time to secure your site to ensure that your conversion rates don’t drop and you can still benefit from a small rankings boost… before it’s merely a last ditch effort to keep your website on the map! We’re still planning on securing our own company site shortly so we understand if you haven’t yet! There’s still time to be one of the non-ecommerce early adopters–in many traditional industries 60-70% of sites have yet to make the switch. So if you need help switching to SSL, or generally just need to revamp your website and improve your rankings and conversions, contact us today!
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/9/2017) Christiaan Colen (Flickr)