Stating in October, Google will officially release their highly anticipated HTTP update. For the past several years Google has launched several initiatives to increase the number of secured domains across the web. Through giving small boosts to SEO rankings and highlighting the threat of non-secured websites, Google has taken major steps to improving user security and overall search experience for users.
The HTTP update will affect both Google Chrome and Incognito browsers. After September, websites that are searched for using these browsers that do not have an SSL certificate will be clearly marked to warn users of the potential threat of loss of sensitive information. This will be highlighted in the URL and is intended to alert users of the potential security risk.
HTTP vs. HTTPS
For those of you who aren’t familiar with HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol), it’s simply a connection between a website visitor’s browser and the actual website. For years, millions of websites across the internet have relied on the standard HTTP connection to transfer information with their users. The issue with a standard HTTP connection is that the information is not encrypted.
This allows sensitive information like credit card numbers, contact information, and other personal data to be easily intercepted by hackers, making users vulnerable without them even knowing.
HTTPS connections are designed to be a secured link between the user and a website. With an encrypted connection through an SSL certificate, users are able to share and transfer information without giving hackers the opportunity to intercept sensitive data.
Benefits of HTTPS
Switching over to HTTPS has benefits outside of enhanced security for users. To start, websites that feature a secured HTTPS connection have been known to have a small increase in their organic SEO rankings. As far as we know, Google has not implemented a specific ranking penalty for non-HTTP sites, but some experts would agree that one may come in the future.
From a user-experience standpoint, knowing a website has a secured connection can help build trust and credibility among your clients. For example, if you have an ecommerce website that allows customers to purchase and shop for products, a secured connection will ensure them that their sensitive data is secure and will not be easily intercepted by hackers.
Enhanced peace of mind and an improved user experience is one of the main driving factors behind each one of Google’s updates. For years cyber security and the presence of foreign and domestic threats has been the central focus of security analysts and search experts alike. To protect users and reduce the risk of threats, this update provides a simple solution to an evolving issue.
Looking to make changes to your website? Not sure where to start? Think VIG!