HTTP vs. HTTPS: What you need to know
Google’s goal is a simple one: create an internet that is not only full of high-quality content, as exhibited by its bias towards websites with worthwhile, relevant copy, but also an internet that is as safe and secure as possible.
There have been a lot of whispers lately about making the switch from HTTP to HTTPS, and talk that failure to change may see your Google ranking take a hit.
At this point you might be thinking, “HTT-what now?” Let’s rewind …
HTTP stands for hypertext transfer protocol, and is the means by which data is transferred from a server to your browser to visit web pages – if you look at a full website URL you will see it there before the domain name, for example http://creativ.com.au.
However, this data is not encrypted, and can potentially be intercepted by others. HTTPS, where the “s” stands for (you guessed it!) secure, is used when transferring sensitive data that demands encryption, such as login pages where passwords are entered, or ecommerce sites where you enter credit card details. Take a look at the address bar in your browser the next time you’re shopping online, and chances are you’ll see https:// before the domain name. (If you don’t – probably best to shop elsewhere!)
So what does this mean for your website?
In an effort to encourage website owners to make the switch to encrypted data transfer, and consequently create a safer and more secure world wide web, Google will begin to favour sites utilising HTTPS in its ranking algorithms, much like it did when it began boosting websites that were mobile-friendly.
Google has stated that its algorithm isn’t going to change overnight and cause your previously highly-ranking website to plummet into the dark recesses of search results – there will be a transitional period to give website owners time to make the switch.
However, there will come a point when non-encrypted websites will start to drop in Google search results, so it’s important to put a plan in place now to make the transition as part of ongoing your search engine optimisation and online marketing strategy.
The first step is engaging with a skilled web team who are able to install your security certificates and make the change and seamless as possible.
Got any questions? Feel free to drop us a line to discuss how you can future-proof your Google rankings.