In an earlier post we discussed the fact that Google is using HTTPS as a ranking signal. This means that sites connecting to the web via HTTPS might fare better in search results than those connected just via HTTP.
They announced this in mid 2014 with the clear intention to strengthen this emphasis over time.
Google Steps up their Emphasis
Earlier this fall Google announced that on the Chrome browser starting in January of 2017, they will mark HTTP pages that collect passwords or credit cards as non-secure. Currently Chrome indicates HTTP connections with a neutral indicator. They were specific in their announcement that that they will eventually label all HTTP pages in the Chrome browser as non-secure and display the warning red triangle.
HTTP, HTTPS, TLS, SSL – How confusing!
HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. HTTPS is Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Most browsers now use Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol to provide the encryption. Its predecessor is known as Secure Sockets Layer or SSL.
What are the benefits of the Secure Connection?
HTTPS provides authentication of the website and associated web server. It provides data integrity by encrypting transmissions both to and from the website. It prevents eavesdropping on browser requests and also prevents information from being stolen in transit.
What does this mean for you?
If your site has a login section or collects any sensitive information you should only be transmitting data using an HTTP connection. Even if this is not the case it is clear that the pressure to move toward only connecting via HTTPS will increase until it becomes an absolute requirement.
What steps must be taken for this to be implemented?
In our earlier post we presented at a high level the steps which need to be taken to switch from HTTP to HTTPS. Most major web hosting companies have eased the pain of ordering security certificates and getting them installed. It is still very important to make sure that you do not lose any of your search rankings and there are some technical steps you can take to insure that your authority on the web is not diminished.
If your site is not encrypted currently and you are or will be relying on it for your organization you should consider making the move. If you have resources in house, get them engaged. If you have an outside provider contact them for their recommendations for implementation. We are very familiar with this process at Moore Tech Solutions and will be delighted to be of service.