Hypertext Transport Protocol Security, or HTTPS for short, provides for data encryption, data integrity, and authentication. But how does it impact SEO?

HTTPS as a SEO Ranking Factor

The internet can seem like the Wild West at times. So it comes as no surprise when you consider that search engines such as Google will increase the ranking for high quality sites. One of the lesser known factors that the search giant uses to grade website quality is a site’s security (or HTTPS).

The idea goes that by using HTTPS on your website, you are providing a higher level of security and protection to your site visitors.

Hypertext Transport Protocol Security, or HTTPS for short, provides for data encryption, data integrity, and authentication. This means the transactions are harder to intercept and even if they are intercepted, they are useless due to encryption. This is the real value behind HTTPS.

Google on HTTPS as a SEO Ranking Signal

Google informed the world back in 2014 that they had been conducting tests to determine if using https should be included as a ranking signal.

You’re likely aware that using https when processing online transactions such as credit cards is already a must. No respectable payment processing gateway would let you run a transaction on your website without it. But Google’s view on security takes it several steps further. Their view is that even more of the web needs to be secure, especially where website visitors are submitting information.

“We’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.” – Google, 8/6/14

While Google’s stance on site security started as a recommendation many years ago, the industry is moving quickly to force greater adoption. You may have also noticed that most web browsers now include an indicator next to the URL bar that informs a site visitor if the site is secure. Firefox, Chrome, and explorer all use a familiar green lock icon to let you know the site is secure. Now imagine the affect this will have over time if your site is not secure. You run an increased risk of losing site visitors – and you run an almost certain risk of losing site traffic if you are processing customer-submitted information.

Take Action on Your Website Security

Don’t hesitate. Take the steps necessary to provide HTTPS for your site visitors. Your customers will appreciate the higher level of protection and you may even see a boost to your page ranking in search results.

Want help getting your site set-up? We can help!

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