Its been quite a while back, three years or so actually, since Google announced it wanted the web world to be entirely served via the HTTPS protocol. And as we probably know a company as large as Google, that has such a massive influence on the web, so big that it is difficult for even the most knowledgeable person to measure its impact. Rock on a few years and we find news everywhere that if sites are not served under a SSL certificate (Secure Socket Layer) they are likely to be lowered in search results. To the general public that might not seem like a big deal, but believe us, its as massive as their check book balance as it could possibly affect 60-80% of the worlds websites and how they are found via search.
Up until recently the main reasons websites did not go the HTTPS route were,
- It was expensive to install and maintain.
- It hurt ones search rankings.
- It was very difficult to implement.
- It wasn't necessary.
So what really is HTTPS and SSL?...well that are not just two more acronyms that techies like that is for sure.
- HTTPS – Stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. What it means for a website is all communication is encrypted, so any data or information sent to and from a website is secure.
- SSL – Is all about a Secure Socket Layer. What is that really? It is the standard technology in the form of a certificate, used to make a website HTTPS.
So basically if one wants to encrypt data on your website and go along with Google’s recommendations, a SSL certificate needs to be installed on the server where the website resides. Till now I am sure most have become aware all e-commerce websites that take credit card transactions have become secure (hopefully), banks, private portals, utility companies etc. We know about it them right?
However along with them the standard is now for everyone's security, so Google wants to see HTTPS on a website if it allows anything like this,
- Allow users to create an account or sign in to one.
- Submit a contact form or information form of any kind.
- Sign up for a newsletter or some other offer.
- Search for something on your website.
- Enter any personal information, even a just zip code.
So with this groundswell of debate behind the scenes, Google earlier this year started lowering the position of websites if they were not HTTPS. As website developers and with Search Engine Optimization becoming an increasing part of our business offerings, we commenced working on plans to make this available to not only our new clients but also all our current ones, in a way that is affordable, and relatively easy to implement. We are pleased to say we are near completion of that project and having installed the HTTPS protocol on several websites including our own, and are ready to comply with Googles wishes.
To see how we can make your website secure, please visit our HTTP - SSL Certificates Page