As of January 2017, a new rule was imposed on website owners straight from the breeding ground of Google. If your website is not on HTTPS, your rankings will be damaged.
What is the reason for this?
This is due to the fact that Google is highly concerned with your personal safety…
Upon entering a certain website, you will often find a friendly suggestion to return to a safe shore, as according to Google’s standards, that site is not safe enough for browsing. As most websites currently use HTTP, as a result of this change most websites will display a security warning very soon.
Moving to the SSL protocol stresses you? Take a deep breath…
Let’s take a step back. What is the HTTP protocol? It is a “chat” (a communication) which takes place between a visitor on a certain website and the server on which this website is stored. The communication is composed of requests and responses sent by both parties.
So what is actually the problem? The problem is that this communication between the visitor and the server is an exposed communication which is carried out overtly. This means that all the cookies, the details which you fill in various forms, and even your geographic location – are not encrypted, and thus, theoretically, they are exposed to any visitor who is on that server! Surprising? Not really. This is exactly why websites which enable the use of credit cards, for example, will never ever use the HTTP and if they do – run away from it!
What do I need the https for?
The https is a secured protocol which enables a different format of data traffic between the visitor and the server. The information which is transferred from the visitor to the server and back is transferred in an encrypted mode so that those who are not supposed to see the information will not have access to it.
Basically, this notion is correct, especially because nowadays a huge percentage of purchases are made on-line. If you think about it, most of our private lives take place on the internet – starting from Social Media nets, which transmit our exact location in real time, via purchases in thousands of shekels in on-line shops, to applications which include sensitive personal details which are sent to governmental institutions – everything happens on-line. This is definitely not the sort of information we would like to expose to everyone.
So what actually happens?
As of January 2017, a warning will be added to any website which does not comply with the https protocol, firstly in the domain line (the address of the website), and then in the shape of a red triangle with an exclamation mark! Do you count on your browsers to already know and trust the website, and not to succumb to such pressure? Think again. A visitor who receives a notification that the website he is on is not secure and dangerous for him will worry, first and foremost, about viruses and other malware, and most definitely will not leave credit card details or personal details on the website.
What do you do now!?
Take a deep breath…and then install SSL.
Every website which is interested in avoiding damage from the update should purchase an SSL certificate in order to protect the privacy of its visitors. It is an encryption certificate which can be purchased via the storage company or the company from which you purchased the domain. Once the purchase process has been completed, a professional person will install it on your website and then you will have to switch to https – through a few simple phases which include carrying out redirections, defining a canonical and more.
How does one do it correctly? We will elaborate on that in the next article