Getting Your ‘S’ Together
Getting Your ‘S’ Together
Moving from HTTP to HTTPS
If you consider yourself an observant type of person or have spent a decent amount of time online in the last several months, you probably noticed either a green lock or a red hazard sign next to domain names. They look something like this:
What’s the difference? Back in October 2017, Google started showing a “Secure” indication for sites that have migrated to HTTPS, compared to a “Not secure” for those still on HTTP–more specifically those that have online forms, such as credit card payment.
What exactly is HTTPS? At its simplest, it’s the Internet’s way of providing users a secure and private online experience while using a website. To borrow straight from Google’s definition, HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site.
Does My Towing Site Need HTTPS?
Scott Hendison of Search Commander points out, “If people are going to see warnings telling them that your site is insecure, then you bet it’s necessary!” In addition to the glaring red hazard sign, there are other key benefits to having a secure site.
For instance, having a secure site can provide a search engine rankings boost. It may only currently be a slight benefit, but the way Google operates (“What’s best for the user?”), the boost may strengthen your towing company listing in the near future. As SEO expert David Mihm indicates, “Google is rapidly moving towards a time when HTTPS will be an absolute necessity for websites.”
We are currently transitioning all of our clients’ sites over to HTTPS. And for those who have joined us in 2018, your towing company site was already built with HTTPS. We consider this another invisible-to-you/signal-stacking-to-Google way we’re adding value to your SEO equation and to our Full-Scale Fundamentals package.
How Will Moving to HTTPS Affect Me?
With Google, any major change to a website can result in either short-term or long-term ranking drop or fluctuation. If you are a TowProgram client and are experiencing a temporary dip, it’s likely because we recently migrated your site from HTTP to HTTPS. Don’t be alarmed, as we are monitoring your rebound.
We made this multi-step and costly move because Google continues to indicate the encryption and security provided by an HTTPS platform will be used as a ranking factor. To keep your long-term site on top for all the terms we like to attract, Google requires this few-week traffic sacrifice while they re-crawl and re-index your site. We’ve followed best practices to help make the discovery process as quick as possible.
How Do I Move to HTTPS?
Migrating your towing website from HTTP over to HTTPS takes time and many specific steps. While we won’t break down the process here, Google provides plenty of documentation for implementing HTTPS. We’ve also included links to other trusted resources:
“HTTP to HTTPS: An SEO’s guide to securing a website” from Search Engine Land
“SEO considerations when moving from HTTP to HTTPS” from Branded3
“Secure your site with HTTPS” from Google
“Is Your Website Secure? You’re Running Out of Time” from Search Commander