Just recently, Google announced another change to its search algorithms – with about 500 changes annually (from very minor to major) it's important to keep up-to-date with these changes to ensure the websites we build have good SEO rankings.
As security is a top priority for Google, it has now announced that it is “starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal”. This means that secure websites (HTTPS) will rank higher than those websites that aren’t secure (HTTP), which is achieved by purchasing an SSL certificate.
What is an SSL certificate?
An SSL (which stands for Secure Sockets Layer) certificate ensures that there is a secure connection between a users’ web browser and the server of the company whose website they are on. You can immediately tell whether a website has this by simply looking at the URL and checking if the prefix is either http:// (unsecure) or https:// (secure). In terms of the Google rankings, they will be on a per-URL basis, so if only some page are secure then these will rank higher and the unsecure pages will rank lower, therefore we would recommend having the entire site secured.
This will initially start as a smaller change while Google gives websites time to switch to becoming a secure site but over time may become more and more important to search rankings, as well as keeping everyone safe on the internet. With a lot of the recent scares online, such as Heartbleed, security is only going to become more prominent and important – not just to Google but to users too.
The Benefits of SSL
The main reason anyone switches to a secure site is exactly for that - security. While currently it is optional for information-only websites to have an SSL certificate, for ecommerce sites or websites that take card details it is compulsory. This is because it keeps sensitive information encrypted, so card details remain confidential between the user and website owner, however non-selling websites still benefits as other customer details also stay secure, such as email addresses and passwords.
It shows your websites’ authentication to give users peace of mind and reinforce your credibility, which ultimately leads to customer trust.
What we can do
Perhaps you have been thinking of making you site secure anyway, or the recent update for search rankings has been the final push to make the change happen, for whatever reason or whatever you require (however niche) we can help.
If you simply wish to upgrade your website to HTTPS then we can organise everything to ensure your website becomes secure and holds an SSL certificate for £150. (Please note SSL certification is provided on a yearly basis and must be renewed each year, no matter where you get it from).
If you are simply unsure about your website then let us inspire you! Our team covers design, development, User Experience (UX), SEO, online marketing, IT infrastructure, coding, software integration and everything in between. We care about the design but we also love making sure it’s built on solid IT foundations, manipulating your technology to make it work to its fullest potential.