Do you remember a few years ago when we had Mobilegeddon? That was when Google started penalizing websites in mobile search that weren’t mobile friendly. Well, now secure-geddon is upon us. Google has decided it’s time to secure the internet and, in doing so, all websites are being required to go HTTPS or face the wrath of Google.
Up until now, it was only common practice for websites that handled sensitive information to be HTTPS, since a secure connection is required to process payments. These were mostly just ecommerce sites.
Starting in the next few months, Google will be displaying warnings before you go to a non-HTTPS website letting your users know that their connections aren’t secure. I’m sure we all have randomly seen this warning from time to time. This is bad because you will lose a lot of traffic if all your visitors see a warning before entering.
It’s been known for a few years now that HTTPS is a ranking factor; what is not clear is how much more this could potentially impact your rankings, but it is Google so I would expect it to. Either one of these reasons alone should be enough to want to go HTTPS, but web security is the biggest reason of all.
How does HTTPS help to improve your website’s security? Well, simply put, HTTPS secures your website from Malicious and harmless intruders. It helps protect your users information from being harvested. Any unprotected HTTP site is vulnerable to have someone listen to the communication between your site and them.
This means if you have an account on a website that is HTTP, all your customer’s and client’s information is vulnerable every time you access it. Facebook is HTTPS, but if it wasn’t all of your account information would be vulnerable. Beyond that, hackers can mine for someone’s identity by watching their browsing history which could be exposed if the site you are visiting are not HTTPS.
How do I make sure I’m ready? Well, the whole process shouldn’t take more than a few hours, and you should have someone competent complete it for you. The reason we recommend not doing it yourself is there are quite a few steps to complete the process and it can take some technical know-how. However, you will need to purchase an SLL certificate to begin the process. These can be purchased from most hosting companies including GoDaddy.
This is something you should have done to your website immediately to protect yourself and your site visitors. Google is taking this very seriously and so should you.