HTTPS – Google’s Internet Security Initiative
Security and protecting assets is a top priority for most people today, from massive corporations to the mom & pop shop down the street. Where once we felt secure by locking the front door, in today’s online-based economy it’s not as simple. Online security has never been easy to maintain or control. People without technical backgrounds or computer skills may never know when they are visiting encrypted websites or when their credit card information can be stolen from an online payment method.
HTTPS is the modern answer for security issues. It stands for HyperText Transport Protocol Secure. HTTP, which most are familiar with or have seen before, is a way for information to be passed back and forth between web servers and their clients. If you visit a webpage and look at the address in the address box it will most likely begin with the following: http://. This means the web server is communicating in an ‘unsecure’ language. While inputting credit card information on a website with only http://, your data can be picked up by whoever may be ‘eavesdropping’ on the conversation between the server and the client.
Google is hoping to make the Internet safer on a broad spectrum. The company has already ensured all of their services are provided on HTTPS servers. Google Mail, Google Drive, and Google+ have all been created with safety and privacy, not only in mind but as a top priority. Over the past year Google has been running tests and ranking the security levels of Webmasters. In their search algorithm Google has been taking into account which websites are using encrypted pages and which are not. This encourages all persons with businesses online to use HTTPS servers in order to become more likely to be viewed through Google’s search results as their ranking will get a minor boost.
Right now the ranking boost is affecting very little of the Internet as a whole. Less than 1% of global queries are affected by the new ranking. However, Google is intending make the signal stronger in the future to encourage everyone to add to security feature to their website. SEO’s are concerned that the new secure transport protocol may affect the traffic on their website, though if the proper steps are taken and the SEO contacts Google about the changes being made to the HTTP this will not happen.
As our commerce, trading and lives in general move ever-increasingly online it is important to keep in mind the security measures we take in our day-to-day lives. HTTPS is an important feature in moving forward and a warning from Google that should be heeded by all persons conducting business online.