Did you know that if you do not have an SSL certificate if your web does not serve your URL in HTTPS and you have some form of the password database, a shop, have to accept payments via cards or similar, your SEO could be seriously harmed?
Why not having HTTPS can penalize my SEO?
Simple, because Google has already announced on its security blog that from January 2017 they will mark the websites insecure in Chrome browser if the site contains some type of unencrypted data if there is no HTTPS and this is gone live last month.
In fact, although it will still show a generic icon, will precede the legend “Not secure” for your URL, like this:
What’s more, if you navigate in incognito mode, the thing will be even worse, it will no longer be a normal icon, but alert, the URL will look like this…
Will this affect the SEO of your website? Almost certain, because there will be an undetermined number of users who, seeing such notification, will think about whether to continue browsing your website or not. Are you willing to play with your website? Let’s not say what if you have an online store.
This will be reflected in an increase in the rate of rebound (abandonment) of your website and in the times of permanence, and in traffic finally, which will sooner or later be reflected in a loss of positions in the SERP.
How does an HTTP web differ from an HTTPS?
Basically in the following:
- You have no data traffic security
- Send data in plain text
- Load faster because they send little data
- Google does not have a special affection in their commitment making the web more secure
- Much more security than HTTP
- Send data in encrypted format
- They can load somewhat slower than the same page using HTTP
- Google rewards them with better positions, despite being somewhat slower
But … does the SEO have anything to do with HTTPS?
Well, for starters, hate it or love it, Google has already announced several times that it is obsessed with Internet security and that it will benefit in the SERP to secure websites with HTTPS and that, in fact, is already a factor they consider for their algorithms.
Do you think there is the little reason?
He also has his things. I do not know if you have noticed but when someone visits your website in HTTP, that traffic is not correctly identified and is marked as “direct traffic”, regardless of where it comes from, while HTTPS visits are perfectly tracked including origin and reference.
In addition, you should not underestimate the importance of the trust you offer to your visitors by offering more security on your website, which should result in a reduction of the rebound rate, an increase in the time of permanence in your site and, a number of factors that will improve your SEO.
Do you want an example? Look at this graph of how HTTPS websites have been increasing in Google rankings lately…
There are many more factors for SEO, of course, but you should not lose sight of them, especially if for Google it is so important as to add a warning to your browser.
What websites will it affect?
Well, any web that keeps passwords or credit cards, all WordPress with access of users, social network, community, forum and online store, to begin with. In fact, Automattic has already installed SSL certificates by default on all WordPress.com blogs, and what are you waiting for?
What do I do to avoid it?
Well the sooner you install an SSL certificate, the better it will be. If until recently the brake was the cost, you have no excuse since you can opt for free certificates with Let’s Encrypt.
We have long ago, by default, always set up all the websites that have forms or stores with HTTPS, and sometimes even those that do not, and then we apply techniques to optimize them and thus alleviate that bit of better speed. Any warning from Google needs to be taken into account, like it or not.