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Google’s latest update impacts websites across the globe and may result in decreased website traffic, conversions, and ranking.
And it’s all thanks to 5 letters – HTTPS.
Also known as Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, HTTPS is used to improve internet security and provide a better user experience to web visitors.
Although HTTPS requirements were initially directed at e-commerce sites, or sites with login functionality, the most recent update significantly affect more businesses. The new security protocol will affect every HTTP site accessed through Google’s Chrome.
Here’s an example of a warning Google is sending to website owners.
This may sound a little intimidating, but web security is an ongoing process.
So what does it mean for your website? Let’s take a look.
HTTP vs. HTTPS
In your browser, you may notice the URL has an HTTP or an HTTPS in front of the domain.
Traditionally, HTTP uses transfer files from a web server into a browser window to view a web page that is on the Internet.
However, HTTP does not encrypt data, which means malicious third parties can intercept, or gather information, between the two systems.
Users expect a secure and private online experience when using your website. In fact, it’s critical! According to GlobalSign survey, 84% of people would abandon a purchase if data is sent over an unsecure connection. That’s where HTTPS comes in.
HTTPS helps make your website more secure. It protects the integrity and confidentiality of information between the user’s computer and your website. It uses an SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer) which creates a secure encrypted connection between the business’s web server and the user’s web browser.
Why Switching to HTTPS Matters
With over 3.5 billion searches daily, how your website appears on Google matters. And Google Chrome is an obvious, popular choice among many internet users.
Take a look at how many individuals used Chrome to access Strategy’s website last month:
2,735 new users visited our website using Chrome. If our website wasn’t HTTPS certified, we could potentially lose nearly 62.65% of our new web visitors, which could have a huge impact on traffic and conversions.
Benefits of HTTPS
Overall, switching to HTTPS, will give you a competitive edge in online search. Here’s what HTTPS can do for your business:
- Build trust and credibility with your audience.
- Increase the likelihood of a user choosing your website over a competitor.
- Improve your search performance because Google is likely to index your website ahead of an unsecured website.
HTTPS is increasingly becoming an important feature in Google’s algorithms; therefore, it’s best to make the change sooner rather than later.
Ready to Go HTTPS?
Enabling HTTPS involves several steps to ensure a smooth transition, including obtaining a certificate authority, implementing redirects to ensure content doesn’t go missing, and confirming that Google is able to crawl and index your pages.