SEO Update for 2016: Google is Serious about HTTPS Everywhere

Friday, January 1, 2016

Digital marketing is prevalent in today’s business marketing strategy and part of a good marketing scope is the need for search engine optimization (SEO). If you’ve been looking to improve your website rankings for SEO purposes, one latest search index update catered to HTTPS pages will give you an added edge over common HTTP web pages.

Google has announced HTTPS strengthening since 2014, but it’s not until December 2015 did they make it official to boost HTTPS pages above HTTP pages.

This 2016, Google will place greater emphasis on web security for its search engine display and rankings. For digital marketers, website owners and web developers, 2016 is the time to rethink SEO and implement better security for your websites.

What is HTTP, HTTPS and HTTPS Everywhere?

For those who are not entirely familiar with the web, the HTTP protocol that appears on the web address bar works as a ‘messenger’ backend that tells web servers what you want to see through the use of a URL. The HTTP protocol then relays messages and information from web servers back to you, displaying what you have ‘clicked’ or otherwise requested.

The HTTP protocol – unaware to many – is insecure and open to intruders for eavesdropping. To prevent this, an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) certificate needs to be installed on the web server, and with it the HTTP protocol on your site immediately becomes HTTPS. Visually, a green secure padlock and a green HTTPS will appear on the address bar whenever visitors access your site, but more importantly, the HTTPS protocol is encrypting your visitors’ search behaviour and credentials throughout their entire web browsing session.

Definition A set of underlying rules used by the World Wide Web to communicate and relay messages between web browsers and servers. The connection is not private and messages transmitted can be eavesdrop. A secure version of the HTTP protocol, where all transmissions are kept private through the use of cryptography for encryption. The use of HTTPS protocols across all pages of the website. A term defined by Google in 2014.
Actions Required No action needed. HTTP is a standard protocol used by all web browsers A TLS/SSL certificate needs to be installed in the web server and used in one or some pages of the website. A TLS/SSL certificate needs to be installed in the web server. HTTPS protocol has to appear across all pages on the website before it’s classified as HTTPS everywhere.
After Google Ranking Update  Low Priority Mid Priority High Priority

The Importance of HTTPS Everywhere besides SEO

Besides the mentioned fact that Google will be giving HTTPS Everywhere websites an extra boost in ranks, fundamentally, HTTPS helps improve the overall integrity of your site by telling visitors your site is safe; whereby a private connection is established.

“By showing users HTTPS pages in our search results, we’re hoping to decrease the risk for users to browse a website over an insecure connection and making themselves vulnerable to content injection attacks.” –  Google


HTTPS Everywhere Starts with SSL/TLS Certificates

To get started with HTTPS Everywhere, you’ll need to get an Organisation Validated (OV) SSL certificate from a trusted Certificate Authority (CA) provider. A CA functions as a third-party auditor that vets through the company and the domain ownership, making sure it truly exist. Once validation is complete, a digital certificate is issued. By installing the digital certificate into your web server, your site will automatically become HTTPS encrypted.

In the market, there are plenty of options from free to paid SSL certificate solutions. However, one should caution on the use of free SSL certificates for its weak level of security authentication which may result in phishing attacks.

Get ready for a new phase of SEO with SSL Certificates and HTTPS Everywhere.

Compare SSL Certificates >>

ashleeAbout Ashlee Ang

Ashlee is a content writer at Cyber Secure Asia where she writes about introductory topics on cyber security and cyber-related happenings in Singapore & South East Asia.

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