Are you HTTPS ready?
It is no secret that Google wants a more secure web – the company has been encouraging sites to embrace HTTPS for some time now. So as of today (Tuesday 24th July 2018), Google is labelling all non HTTPS websites as ‘not secure’ with the release of Google Chrome 68. This should come as no surprise to the internet, but if it does you have some catching up to do. Which, conveniently, can be done here.
You may argue your website does not deal with sensitive information, such as payment details, so there is no need to adopt HTTPS. And you would be right, under normal circumstances there would be no need. However, these are not normal circumstances, these are Google’s circumstances, making this all the more important for every webmaster out there.
Because if you opt to ignore Google’s recommendations and do not become secure, you risk affecting the organic traffic to your site. And here’s why:
The vast majority of Google search results return a HTTPS web page, which is outlined by Moz in their MozCast Graph and how Google gives an SEO boost to secure sites. Google clearly prefers secure results in its search engine, which shouldn’t come as a surprise when you take Chrome 68’s updates into account, in fact it mentioned a move towards indexing secure over insecure sites back in 2015. Google would be bonkers not to favour its search results toward secure websites – it’s Google that’s pushing the change.
Chrome 68 notifies visitors of the insecure nature of HTTP sites, which will likely lead to some users bouncing. Even if they are unsure of what an insecure website is, it will not paint a pretty picture in their minds. Alarms bells will undoubtedly begin ringing, causing the visitor to leave your site without ever knowing if being HTTP or HTTPS makes any difference to them.
By the way, Google dislikes high bounce rate and your site’s rankings could well suffer because of it.
Google loves a fast website, and the evidence suggests HTTPS leads to faster loading times than HTTP. Migrating to HTTPS could well be a very effective method of improving your site loading speed, and what’s more, it is free. Google takes page speed into account for mobile first websites, something they announced in January 2018. Page speed is now more important than ever as the visitor to your page is no longer the only one going mad as it waits for page content.
You can run the HTTPS vs HTTP test here, the test simply compares the load time of an identical page – one is secure and one is not.
What do you need to do?
HTTPS is not going away and deciding whether or not to migrate should be a no brainer. Google clearly sees the internet progressing to HTTPS as a default protocol to improve security. Therefore the time has come to migrate from HTTP to HTTPS before your site takes an SEO right hook from Google, leaving you hanging on the ropes, fighting for the organic scraps your competitors leave behind.
Make a start with the basics of migrating to a secure website with our blog post, or you can contact us to speak with someone.