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Nov 27 2019

SEO and Security

Have you ever noticed that some URLs start with “http://” while others start with “https://”? Perhaps you’ve seen that extra “s” when using websites that require transmitting sensitive information, like banking and bill-paying sites.

To put it simply, the extra “s” means the connection to that website is encrypted, so hackers can’t intercept any of your data. The technology that powers that little “s” is called SSL, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer.

Way back in August 2014, Google announced that it had started using HTTPS as a signal in their ranking algorithms. This meant that if your website still relied on standard HTTP, your rankings could suffer as a result.

Three years later, in October 2017, Google released a new version of its Chrome browser, version 62. The company notified users that if their webpage/s contained a fill-in form but was not SSL-enabled, visitors would see a “not secure” icon—a padlock with a red slash across it—in front of the URL in the browser bar. This label began to roll out in July 2018.

From an SEO perspective, there are benefits to converting to a secure socket. Google has stated that websites that are SSL-enabled may receive a slight boost in  ranking. As well, up to 85% of users surveyed by HubSpot Research said that they will not continue browsing a site is that is not secure. As you contemplate making upgrades to your firm’s website in the coming year, think about how that statistic might translate to potential clients who are filling out your “Contact Us” form, or consultants who are using the site to send project data.