How Website Security Means Better SEO

Google SEO HTTPS standardsGoogle is on a mission to make the web safer. If you’re on board with Google and their website security measures, you’ll be rewarded with better SEO starting now. We have provided the information needed below to ensure that you get the highest SEO ranking possible with these new website security measures. Google isn’t saying exactly how important this is, but from all indications, they are pretty serious about it.

Here is a snippet from the Google Webmaster Central website

Security is a top priority for Google. We invest a lot in making sure that our services use industry-leading security, like strong HTTPS encryption by default. That means that people using Search, Gmail and Google Drive, for example, automatically have a secure connection to Google.

Beyond our own stuff, we’re also working to make the Internet safer more broadly. A big part of that is making sure that websites people access from Google are secure. For instance, we have created resources to help webmasters prevent and fix security breaches on their sites.

We want to go even further. At Google I/O a few months ago, we called for “HTTPS everywhere” on the web.

So, this makes sense. Google wants to make sure when they give a result for a website, that website is secure for the visitor. Who doesn’t want that?

HTTPS?

So Google talks about HTTPS encryption, what is that? HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol over Secure Socket Layer) is something you’ll typically see at an ecommerce website. HTTPS is a secure encrypted connection between you and the website. This allows for the transfer of sensitive information like credit card numbers to be transferred back and forth. You should see a little padlock (or other indicator) in the address bar when a HTTPS connection is present.
https padlock

So How Do We Make Google Happy? (Like asking “How do I keep my wife happy?”)

The answer is fairly straightforward. You should have your hosting company install a SSL (Secure Socket Layer) on your website account. This most likely will cost extra for a one time and a yearly fee. When looking at the low cost of hosting and relative low cost of a SSL, it’s not a bank breaker. The next step is a bit more complicated. You have to tell the world that your website address has changed. It really hasn’t changed per se, but if your website is http://www.yoursite.com, it will now be https://www.yoursite.com. The only thing that has changed is the http to https. As small of a change as this is, it is viewed as an entirely different address. Making the adjustments to handle this without loosing website traffic and thus your hard earned SEO ranking can be fairly simple to very complex. It is something you will probably need to contact your web person about. If done incorrectly, it can knock your website right out of existence and off of Google, so proceed with caution if handling this yourself. You can read more info on what Google requires HERE.

I Think I May Have A Website SSL & HTTPS In Place.

If you think your website is already set-up with HTTPS, you can test its security level and configuration with the Qualys Lab tool. If you find that you do not have the HTTPS straightened away, now is a good time to start think about it. If you have additional questions about this, as always, contact me for more information at mike@propelpages.com