If you’ve checked out our blog recently, you know we’ve been talking about ways to improve your ranking on Google. Today we’re going to talk about one of the most fundamental ways you can improve your SEO, thanks to research from Dr. Pete of Moz.
Speaking at MozCon 2017, Dr. Pete shared how Google’s algorithms are trending towards privileging HTTPS over HTTP sites. What is the difference between the two, you ask, and why is it so important?
HTTP sends data without hiding it, so the information can potentially be seen by others. HTTPS encrypts the data connection between your site and your customers, which makes it harder for anyone to track, modify, or steal that data.
Google is constantly tweaking their algorithms to favor websites that attend to standards that favor user safety and ease of use. Sometimes these tweaks are massive shifts, though, and the HTTP vs. HTTPS shift seems to be one of those moments.
According to research from Dr. Pete and Moz, in just nine months the percent of page one results that use HTTPS has jumped from 30 percent to over 50 percent. They’re projecting that number to jump to nearly three out of every four sites by the end of 2017.
Google announced that they would be slightly favoring HTTPS web traffic back in 2014, but as HTTPS becomes more of an industry standard, it seems that Google is feeling comfortable to more openly favor it over the unsecured HTTP. Google has been sending clear messages for a while, most notably with the release of Chrome 56, which blatantly called out non-HTTPS traffic as “Not secure” directly in the search bar.
Dr. Pete recommends converting to HTTPS to not only improve SEO rankings, but for overall site security. There are plenty of guides to converting your site online. While it may seem like a daunting task, the reward is a more secure experience for your customers and a better showing in Google search results.
For the past year at MindTouch, we’ve required customers to adopt HTTPS best practices for their sites. We chose to do so not just because we recognized the importance of better security, we’re looking forward to the advent of the new HTTP/2 standard that will allow for even faster loading and performing MindTouch sites.