At the beginning of August Google announced that it would begin using HTTPS as a ranking positive for all websites. This update comes after a lot of buzz surrounding internet security issues like HeartBleed and recent cloud account hacking.
Vulnerabilities are everywhere on the web and there are trust issues with some of the tamest websites. If a website gets hacked, then the possibility increases of leaving sensitive information behind for anyone to exploit – regardless of the website’s subject matter.
Updating to HTTPS
Using a security protocol for your website is a step that will come with pros and cons that you will need to consider before making the move. Some of the more notable points are:
- Website security – decreased chance of being hacked
- Ranking preference from Google
- Building user trust – more users are looking for the green security tag
- Potential to slow down page load times – if the website has high traffic levels this can be an issue
- Higher costs for hosting
There have been some grumblings from website owners concerning this new Google policy because there is a feeling that using HTTPS is not necessary for all websites. There is a long-time standard practice for securing websites that collect sensitive information, but many don’t see the necessity for using security protocols everywhere.
There is also some concern because switching to HTTPS can be a tricky process and, if not done correctly, it can be harmful to your website. That is why it’s important to go through the process carefully and make sure you’re taking every precaution to do it correctly.
Just Do It
My experience as an SEO has taught me that when Google makes a change like this, it’s important to listen. Whether or not you see a direct effect on rankings, this is a new precedent being set and, on the internet, staying ahead of the curve is paramount to success.
If you have questions, we’re here to help. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Nicole Castelblanco
Nicole Castelblanco is Manager, Research & Analytics at Liquid. She leads the department in the planning, implementation and management of online lead generation programs which include paid and organic search, display, social media, email marketing and analytics.