How secure is your website?
Do you have the letters "HTTPS" in front of your site?
If you answered yes to having HTTPS in front of your site name, you are on the right path to protecting your site. HTTPS encrypts the data between the browsers and the site, which protects the privacy of anything you do on the site. You have taken the first step towards protecting your site and in return will be rewarded by Google.
It used to be that the only time you needed to encrypt a web page was when you were accessing an account or making a purchase. In both of these scenarios, you are accessing very personal information. Using HTTPS allows your browser session to be encrypted, so no prying eyes (or computers) can see the information on the page you are viewing.
As more and more stories come out about major websites and credit card companies being hacked, it has become more apparent that you need to do as diligent as possible to prevent your data from ending up in the wrong hands. Google has recognized this and they’re now giving a rankings boost to any site that is using encryption, by default, on their pages.
Google has always maintained they change their algorithm often to make sure that they are doing all that they can for the end user, your customer. This is yet another way they can help. By awarding websites better rankings based on security, it forces sites that normally would use HTTPS sparingly to create a full secure experience. To Google, the only real way to properly make sure that your encryption is working is to make sure it happens on every page you go to.
What does this mean for your site?
Well, if you are looking for a magical fix for your SEO woes, you won’t find it by just doing this. Google has mentioned that, for now, it is only a small bump that they will award you when your page is secured. They did state that in the future it may actually become a larger signal in how your page is ranked. Understand, though, that if you already have SEO on your site taken care of, it can help move your pages even higher in the Google rankings.
So how do you go about getting this increase? If you already have an SSL certificate for your site, all you need to do is make sure to change all your pages to HTTPS. That means making sure that all your URL’s are redirected to HTTPS versions of your pages and also make sure that all the links on your pages are now pointing to the HTTPS version.
If you don’t already have an SSL certificate, you will need to purchase the certificate from a provider. After this, you can install the certificate on your site and move on to changing all your pages to HTTPS.
Making this change helps keep everyone’s sessions secure, and will help your pages rank higher thanks to Google initiatives.
Google will be publishing its best practices in the near feature. Stay tuned for more information on how to keep your site secure.