There’s never a dull moment in the world of internet marketing, with the lion’s share of surprises coming of course from Google. This month was no exception with Google (uncharacteristically) announcing a ranking signal: the use of HTTPS.
What is HTTPS?
HTTPS stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure”. When you see a website or link beginning with “https://” (as opposed to “http://”) it essentially means that your web traffic is encrypted and secure. You’ll typically see HTTPS when you’re signed in to your email, bank, shopping carts, etc.
Why is Google doing this?
Because Google controls the phone book of the internet with its search rankings, Google has a lot of sway over how the internet runs. What they’re trying to do here is make the internet as a whole more secure, and this should be applauded — we’ve all seen the headlines about a major and massive security breach at one website or another.
Where to from here?
This announcement is Google getting the ball rolling on HTTPS, encouraging website owners to embrace existing security technology. And in their own words, they say that HTTPS will be a “very lightweight signal” that they “may decide to strengthen over time”.
But when it comes to Google, a wink is as good as a nod — if they “suggest” that you do something to rank well, you should darn well do it! For this reason, here at Big Blue Local we’re working on rolling out HTTPS websites for all of our clients over the next few months. Stay tuned.
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