Why half of page-1 Google results are now HTTPS

Back in August 2014, Google announced that HTTPS was a ranking signal as part of their campaign to make the internet safer.

Subsequently, 50% of page 1 Google results are now HTTPS, alluding to the fact that Google may have strengthened what began as a lightweight ranking signal. Projecting the fairly stable trend line forward, data suggests that HTTPS could hit about 65% of page-1 results by the end of 2017.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP. It’s an encryption method that secures the connection between the browser and the server, making it harder for third parties to intercept data passed between the two systems. Without HTTPS, any data passed between the browser and server can easily deciphered by hackers and fraudsters.

For those who have yet to move to HTTPS, Google’s plan to mark all HTTP websites are insecure should provide the motivation to upgrade.

What is Google’s long-term plan?

Back in January 2017, Google started to label pages in HTTP as non-secure with the release of Chrome 56. This phase only affected pages that transmit sensitive information such as login and payment-card data on the web.

Then in October 2017, Google started to mark pages as not secure in Chrome 62. This is visible when users enter data on an HTTP page, and on all HTTP pages visited in Incognito mode. It is part of Google’s long-term plan to mark all HTTP sites as non-secure.

They have revealed that the warning will become more prominent as time goes on to let users know that data is being exchanged on an unencrypted connection. Chrome’s Security team said:

“Eventually, we plan to label all HTTP pages as non-secure, and change the HTTP security indicator to the red triangle that we use for broken HTTPS.”

The internet would be a safer place if all traffic was encrypted and so Google is persuading companies to encrypt their websites with the HTTPS protocol. The expanded warnings for HTTP pages are likely to add pressure for website owners to acquire the necessary SSL/TLS certificates and setup HTTPS on their web servers. 

Will your WordPress website be affected?

If you have any forms, login fields and other input sections on your website, your visitors will be notified on Chrome 62 that they not secure.

Although Google hasn’t out rightly said websites who don’t comply will be penalised, it’s safe to assume that this will eventually be the case. You can easily fix the problem by implementing SSL certificates to migrate to HTTPS. Not only will this make sure you have a higher chance of ranking better on Google, it will also ensure your customers’ data isn’t compromised.

Keeping your WordPress website up-do-date, secure and optimised can be a complex and time consuming process. If you don’t have the skills or the time to stay on top of your website, you should consider hiring a professional to do it for you.

WP Tech Support have developed a premium quality support and maintenance service that can put you ahead of 70% of WordPress websites. Keep your customers’ data secure and improve your SEO ranking by speaking with WP Tech Support today. Take a look at our monthly payment plans to find the best option for you.

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