Web chatter is one thing, but when the likes of Google tells you to do something, you pretty much better do it. Over a year ago, Google announced that it would soon be rewarding sites making the switch to HTTPS, shortly afterwards announcing punishments for those sticking with HTTP. Well, not so much punishments but public naming and shaming for daring to stay on the ‘unsafe’ side of the fence.
For years now, a variety of businesses and influential tech leaders have been calling for changes to be made to web security standards. In the simplest of terms, HTTPS adds an extra layer of security onto standard HTTP, making it a fundamentally safer way of transmitting information. Which is why at the same time as moving away from any specific benefits for safer websites, they’re adding a red ‘X’ to shame those sites that stick with the old HTTPs standard.
But does it really matter? As in does this slight change make much of a difference as far as you or your business is concerned? In a word, yes…yes it does!
From the Horse’s Mouth
“The goal of this proposal is to more clearly display to users that HTTP provides no data security,” Google’s Chris Palmer stated a while back.
The simple fact of the matter is that aside from anything even remotely technical, Google’s intentions and opinions alone have made the whole thing gospel. While it’s true to say that HTTPS most certainly does have a huge impact on security, it’s more the fact that Google is bringing it to the attention of the world that matters.
First of all, not playing by the rules of search engine optimisation means certain punishment from Google in terms of rankings. Perhaps not severe for the time being, but possibly quite crippling going forward. On top of this, it also means your visitors and customers being told outright by the powers that be that your website isn’t safe. Online security is becoming one of the biggest concerns shared by the modern consumer and is known to be one of the main causes of shopping cart abandonment.
Quite simply, if your website’s visitors get wind that your website is anything but a bastion of total safety and security, chances are they will not give you the time of day.
Making the Switch
On the plus side, working with the professionals to get things switched over to HTTPS is pretty easy. The job itself can be tricky, but it’s a job that your web developers will do entirely on your behalf. Whatever it takes though, this is one change in the rulebook that absolutely cannot be ignored.
Here at Say Web Design, we can help advise on all aspects of website security and ensure you provide your visitors with the experience they expect. Get in touch with us today for more information.