Google is all about making sure that every web user gets the best possible experience when browsing. Their various SEO ranking factors drive best practices for site and content structure, or at least that’s the idea. One of those ranking factors is whether or not a website is secure, and it’s slowly becoming a “thing” to secure an entire website.
Chrome has always indicated the presence of a security certificate using either a green, closed padlock icon or a neutral informational icon in the address bar. But as of January, 2017 with version 56 of the Chrome browser, Google will be adding an explicit label calling out pages that house forms or collect credit cards as “Not secure” in the address bar. This is part of a long-term plan to mark the entire content of any non-SSL (secure socket layer) site as non-secure.
Reasons to Switch to SSL
If you haven’t gotten on the HTTPS bandwagon yet, you will want to before Google makes this change effective across an entire website. There are a few reasons to do so as soon as possible:
- It’s a Ranking Factor
Google uses whether or not a site is secured as a ranking factor for SERP (search engine results pages). HTTPS-enabled sites have already started to rank above HTTP-only or limited HTTPS sites where only forms, shopping carts, and payment areas.
- Google Might Scare Your Users Away
A study was conducted and determined that users don’t see the lack of a secure icon as a security risk. Now they will be directly informed by their browser that their session is “Not secure”. We would love to see test cases done on this later, but our guess at GRIT is that users will begin to abandon shopping sessions when they are directly told they aren’t safe. If you rely on web sales or web leads to make that bottom line heavier, it’s safe to say that HTTPS should be in your near future.
- Moving to HTTPS is Cheap
For the cost of about an hour of any seasoned web developer’s time and approximately eighty to one-hundred dollars for the SSL certificate, your website can be secure. GRIT has made the move that any new websites we build are going secure at launch as part of our pre-launch SEO work. Given the low cost to entry, it makes sense to move to HTTPS.
Want to Go Secure?
Contact GRIT for more information or an estimate to take your site secure. Our experienced digital team knows how to move a site to HTTPS with limited down time and almost no loss to SERP.