Is Now the Time to go Secure?
Tuesday, 16th September 2014
Not long ago, Google search head honcho Matt Cutts said that if it were up to him, the existence of a secure server on a domain would be a ranking factor.
This was slightly unusual, as Google don't often reveal actual ranking factors in public. That day has now arrived, on the 6th of August Google has officially announced that the presence of HTTPS is now a ranking factor, albeit a "very lightweight" one, "affecting fewer than 1% of global queries and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content".
So What is HTTPS?
Enabling security on your website protects the integrity and confidentiality of your users, so if someone enters data into a form, a secure site protects that data. You'd expect a shopping website to be secure when you entered your credit card details, but now Google would like your entire site to be secure. You can read more about what Google say here: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6073543 (note the HTTPS!).
Is It Worth It?
Right now, I'm not sure it is worth it. Secure certificates are expensive, slow things down a little and there are technical challenges in migrating all of your existing incoming links onto a secure protocol. There are a lot of moving parts to nail down.
But if you're developing a new website, or changing domain name, now could be a good time to get a site-wide secure certificate, particularly if you're selling online, or if the trust of your customers is paramount. Just remember that having an HTTPS enabled website alone isn't going to propel you up the google rankings.
In summary, like much of modern SEO, if it's good for your business it will be good for your website.
We already buy and install secure servers for many of our e-commerce clients. If you'd like to talk about getting a secure sever for your website please get in touch.