When you write out the full address for a website, it starts with either HTTP or HTTPS. That one letter can be a big difference in not only your site’s Google rankings, but also in customer user experience come October. Google wants you to switch to a secure HTTPS and will tell your customers if your site is not secure, but what exactly is HTTP and HTTPS?
What’s HTTPS and Why Is It Better Than HTTP?
People send their personal and sensitive information on the Internet every time they log into an account on website, fill out a form or buy something online. It’s so common these days that people often just assume the information they send is secure. That’s where HTTPS comes in.
HTTP stands for hypertext transfer protocol and HTTPS stands for hypertext transfer protocol secure. HTTP is how people send and receive information on the Internet. Every link you click and webpage you see uses it. Most of the time the information passed back and forth is something hackers don’t really care about, but credit cards, passwords and other pieces of sensitive information are sought after.
When you send information over HTTP, there is a chance someone can see and steal it. When it is sent over HTTPS, the data is encrypted, which helps protect it from being stolen. It’s like throwing a baseball back and forth. At any point, someone can come and grab that baseball midflight. With HTTPS, it’s like the baseball is inside an armored car guarded by a giant psychic gorilla that can read your mind.
Why Should You Care?
Google is a business and everyone that seeks information through their search engine is a customer. The company wants to make sure everything their customers sees is the best possible result for their query. If the site isn’t secure, then Google sees it as a potential security risk that could leave their customers vulnerable to attack.
Google has been a proponent of HTTPS as far back as 2014 and has given sites that use HTTPS a bump in rankings. It’s not a significant bump and only one small part of the overall ranking algorithm, but it could mean the difference between ranking above your arch business nemesis or below it. It’s also one way to add a little more SEO juice to your website.
Google isn’t stopping there. In October, people who use the Chrome web browser will be warned that your site is not secure when they enter information into a form on your site if you are using HTTP. Imagine how your visitors will feel if they see that notification. It’s not a confidence builder. This should obviously already be a concern if your forms are part of a checkout; however, this applies to all forms right down to contact forms and newsletter sign up forms. Using HTTPS to secure your form data will prevent a bad user experience and help keep your visitor’s information secure.
Start Switching Over Now
If you’re website isn’t HTTPS and requires people to input sensitive information, then it’s time to switch over. Depending on your hosting service, the switch could be simple and free or it can be more complex and cost money. We can help you know if your site is secure and help you setup HTTPS.
Don’t let an insecure website cause doubt in your customers. Information is power and people fear having their information stolen. Call All Web Promotion today and let us secure your future and your website.