Google HTTPS Ranking can no longer be ignored. Very soon, Non-HTTPS sites will be labeled as “Not Secure” by Chrome.
Google wants a more secure web and is staging a multi-phase roll out of changes to its Chrome browser to encourage website owners to switch to HTTPS, also known as SSL.
Data from Google Chrome usage shows that more than 70% of Chrome users are visiting HTTPS-enabled websites, which indicates that browsing via HTTPS is becoming the norm. Armed with that data, Google is taking steps to “encourage” the global adoption of SSL/HTTPS.
What is HTTPS/SSL?
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, which is the protocol over which data is sent between a browser and a website.
The ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’ which means all exchanges of information between the browser and the site are encrypted.
Why should you use HTTPS instead of HTTP?
Firstly, HTTPS has been a confirmed Google ranking factor since 2014, so getting a small rankings boost is good reason #1 for switching to HTTPS.
Secondly, if your website is not using HTTPS/SSL when these changes go live later in 2017, your website credibility and search engine rankings may be affected.
Convert from HTTP to HTTPS to Avoid the ‘Not Secure’ Warning
By converting your website to HTTPS, assuming it is implemented correctly, your visitors will see a happy GREEN indication that your site is secure.
More Reasons Why You Should Convert Your Website to HTTPS/SSL
1. SSL is a Google Ranking Signal
Google introduced SSL as a weak ranking signal way back in 2014. At the time, Google hinted that over time, they might decide to strengthen it as a signal because they wanted to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS.
Every day, more business owners get hip to the fact that competing online requires digital marketing and a more advanced strategy for SEO, way beyond on-page SEO basics. Paying attention to this SSL detail could be the factor that allows your site to rank higher than a competitor.
2. Research Shows that Google HTTPS Ranking is Real…SSL DOES Correlate with Higher Rankings
Research from analyzing 1 million search results found “that HTTPS correlated with higher rankings on Google’s first page”.
3. It’s Safer for Your Visitors
HTTPS is especially important over unencrypted Wi-Fi networks. Anyone on the same local network, such as a coffee-shop or other public network can “packet sniff” and discover sensitive information about your visitors.
Several companies and organizations have been pushing for more encrypted sites as part of a campaign to “Encrypt All The Things,” which consists of promoting more websites to abandon the traditional, less secure HTTP protocol and adopt HTTPS. HTTPS protects user data, but it also ensures that the user is connecting to an authentic site and not a fake one. This is important because setting up a fake version of a website is a popular phishing tactic.
Fear of Losing Existing Rankings
Fluctuations in search engine rankings can happen with any major site change, but Google is very good with changes from HTTP to HTTPS. Up until now, this was a somewhat valid reason to remain on HTTP, but it’s no longer an option with the pronounced “Not Secure” label.
Be Sure to Implement HTTPS Correctly
AHREFS analyzed the HTTPS settings of the top 10,000 domains and found that only 1 in 10 had a flawless SSL/HTTPS set up. One of the most common errors is failing to use 301 Redirects which is probably the most crucial one to get right.