In 2014 Google announced that the HTTPS protocol would be “a very lightweight” ranking signal. Early adaptation was slow, but a 2017 study found that more than 50% of first page search results were sites that used HTTPS, and predicted that it would be approaching 65% by the end of 2017. Eighty-one of the top 100 sites on the web are now displaying HTTPS.
HTTP = Not Secure
Even more significant than the slight SEO boost that HTTPS might provide you, is the stigma of having your website labeled as being “not secure”.
Have you looked at how your URL is displayed in your browser recently? If not, you might be surprised to see that your HTTP URL appears beside an “i” with a circle around it. Below is an image of the BBC’s URL.
If the user “clicks” on that symbol, this is what they see:
Not only are you losing out on possible search ranking gains, but now even when visitors are finding you, they may be reluctant to click stay on your website.
Its Going to Get Worse in July, 2018
With the release of the Chrome 68 web browser, which accounts for 78.6% of all web use, in July, visitors will see the words “Not Secure” beside the circled “i”.
If you’ve put off moving to the HTTPS protocol, now is the time. Make sure that you use a professional to make the transition to HTTPS, when done wrong it can create issues for the search engines and your visitors.
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