As you’ve been surfing the web lately, you may have noticed that more and more websites are being labeled as insecure. There’s a little message that pops up next to the URL at the top of the screen, letting you know the site may not be safe.
This is because these websites are still using the traditional HTTP web protocol, which has now been deemed to have major security flaws. It’s important to switch your site to HTTPS web protocol, especially if you collect visitor’s information on your site.
While security is important, there are other benefits to switching to HTTPS too. Many of these are driven by Google’s desire for widespread implementation of data encryption, but, you stand to benefit nonetheless.
Besides the added security advantages of switching to HTTPS, here are three other benefits you may see:
1. HTTPS May Help With SEO
Google is on a never-ending mission to provide their users (which are also your users) with the best experience possible, and there’s no doubt that protecting a user’s information will provide a better experience.
In 2014, Google announced that HTTPS was being used as a ranking factor. It’s a small factor – you won’t see dramatic improvements unless your website is very large – but still important. It can be just enough to put you ahead of competitors. It’s also certain to grow in importance for rankings, as an incentive from Google to switch, so cutting over to HTTPS now can get you ahead of the game.
2. HTTPS is Necessary for AMP (Mobile)
In today’s world, all websites need to be mobile. Mobile-friendliness itself is a major ranking factor. Google developed AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to ensure that content loads faster on a mobile device. If you want to leverage all the advantages of mobile, you need to be compatible with AMP.
Google’s AMP, for the most part, requires HTTPS URLs in order to work. If your mobile pages load slow, not only will you drop in the rankings on Google, you’ll also lose website visitors. HTTPS URLs are a critical component of mobile-friendliness, which is also growing in ranking importance, so ultimately, HTTPS further helps SEO and overall web traffic.
3. HTTPS Protects You Against a Sudden Algorithm Change
There are over 200 factors that go into every single web page to determine where it ranks. All those factors are constantly in flux as Google fine tunes it’s algorithm and objectives. Each year, Google changes it’s algorithm between 500 and 600 times.
There’s little room for interpretation on Google’s opinion of HTTPS vs HTTP. You can be sure that HTTPS as a ranking factor won’t diminish in importance any time soon. So, amid all the algorithm changes that can be nearly impossible to keep up with, if you switch now, you’ll know that you have HTTPS web protocol the way Google determines is best for search rankings.
In the end, switching to HTTPS probably won’t revolutionize your rankings or traffic. But, HTTPS provides very important security benefits and is a small but growing influence in SEO.
By switching now, you protect your customers, avoid search engine penalties, and potentially boost your rankings now and in the future. There are many reasons to consider HTTPS – now is the time to act.