Is your website secure? Why Google is directing users away from websites not using HTTPS

Posted on: March 16th, 2017 by Kyle Rose | in News & Press, SEO and Marketing

Secure Padlock

When we talk about optimizing a website and all the different SEO techniques available, people usually think about four or five big items they can do for their website. From having great content and the right short tail and long tail keywords to getting backlinks and optimizing your Google My Business page. One small tweak that Google announced in 2014 is that adding an SSL Certificate to become a secured website would add some SEO value and a ranking boost to your website.

Taking this one step further, Google Chrome said they would start marking sites as “Not Secure” if they don’t utilize the HTTPS protocol. An alarming message will be displayed on your site and could cause your site visitors to potentially question the safety of your site and move on to the competition. The image below illustrates how this message will be shown, right in the address bar of your browser. Google Chrome states that “we’ll mark HTTP pages that collect passwords or credit cards as non-secure, as part of a long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure.”

HTTP - Not Secure Warning

What is HTTPS and an SSL Certificate?

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure or HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. The extra “s” means secure and that all communication between your browser and the website are encrypted.

SSL or Secure Socket Layer is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. The link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. This basically means it ensures the information a visitor provides on your website is secure. An SSL Certificate can also provide trust to your visitors by displaying a lock or secure bar depending on the type of certificate you install.

How Can I Tell if a Website is Secure?

There are two simple ways to ensure you are on a secure website.

  1. Look at the web address and make sure it starts with https://
  2. Look for a closed padlock in your web browser. When you click on the padlock you should see a message that states the name of the company and that “The connection to the server is encrypted”

How do you get an SSL and move your site to HTTPS?

There are a few steps to acquiring an SSL Certificate and moving your site to HTTPS.

  1. Purchase an SSL Certificate
  2. Once you have received the keys, Install the Certificate or have web host do this for you
  3. The last step is redirecting any traffic using the HTTP protocol to the HTTPS version via a 301 redirect.

Opt-e-Web can make this process pain free.

You should now understand the benefits of having an SSL Certificate and don’t want to get left behind when sites start getting marked for not being secure. The entire process might seem daunting, but Opt-e-Web is here to help. Contact us today and we can have your site secured in no time.

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