Google Strong-Arming Sites To Adopt HTTPS Encryption

An example of an address bar showing a connection to a website protected by HTTPS technology.

An example of an address bar showing a connection to a website protected by HTTPS technology.

In case you missed the announcement, Google is now utilizing HTTPS encryption as a ranking signal. This means sites utilizing HTTPS encryption will be slightly favored over sites that do not. Sites that have HTTPS will have a lock icon, green bar, or other effect in the address bar depending upon the type of SSL certificate utilized by the website and the type of browser you are using.

Google claims that having good content will always be a more important factor in deciding where websites rank in its search engine. This makes sense because there is no benefit in Google sending its users to secure but crappy websites.

Going forward, Google also claims that HTTPS will increase in importance as a ranking signal.

What is HTTPS encryption?

HTTPS encryption encrypts data to and from a website and your computer. For instance, if you utilize a coffee shop’s WiFi to log into a secure website, someone with the technical prowess and right tools could capture your data as it travels between your computer and the wireless router in the coffee shop. With HTTPS, they can still capture that data but it would be encrypted, rendering it useless.

Strategy6 strongly suggests those websites in highly competitive markets acquire a SSL certificate as quickly as possible. We will install a SSL certificate on our own site as soon as we move to a new hosting platform later this summer.

How do I adopt HTTPS encryption?

To secure your site with HTTPS you need to purchase a SSL Certificate and have it installed on your website. You can purchase a SSL Certificate for as little as $49 at RapidSSL. You will also have to install the SSL certificate and obtain a dedicated IP address on your host server. This may also tack on an installation fee and dedicated IP address fee, depending upon the company that provides your web hosting.

If you need help setting up HTTPS on your website, please contact us for assistance.