Google announce security as a new SEO factor - but what does this mean for businesses?

Does your site use HTTPS? If the answer is no then your site’s search ranking could now be affected. Google have announced that they will now take this factor into account in results pages - but what does this mean for business owners?

If you are a business owner, then chances are that you will have a website. So you will probably be aware that the amount of traffic coming to your website will, on the most part, rely on people searching on Google. But Google are constantly changing how they present search results and so one day your website may appear as a top result, but then Google will re-think and decide that a rival website is actually more beneficial for a user. This rival may then attract more customers than you, so it is important that whoever has control of your website is up to date with what Google looks for and likes to see within a website.

Google has recently announced that they will now take HTTPS into account when ranking websites in their results pages. Yes, it’s another acronym. So what does it mean?

HTTPS is basically something to use on your website which makes it safe and secure for users. As you may be aware, the online world is full of unsafe viruses, hackers, frauds and fakes and HTTPS is a part of making the online world a more secure place.

All of Google’s products, such as Gmail and Google Drive all use this encryption so that they are safe for users, as they are big advocates of making the Internet safer. They work hard to provide resources and services for web developers, such as guides and help for working on technical security breaches on websites.

Luckily, more and more websites are using HTTPS so the internet is gradually becoming more secure. But is your business?

Google have stated that it is a factor that is being taken into account, but it is a very low factor. It has said that less than 1% of global searches will be affected. Other factors such as having high quality content are still much higher signals of a good quality website. So why bother if it might not even affect the amount of new customers and business?

Well apart from the ethics of having a secure website, there is another incentive. Google have said that it is likely that this percentage will increase over time as they are try to push websites into putting user’s safety and security first. There was a similar shift in 2010 around site speed and in 2013 with mobile-friendly sites.

It is highly recommended that you look into HTTPS for your website so that you avoid the consequences later down the road. It might be that in a few months’ time, the factor will become more significant and may prevent you from gleaning new customers - especially if you are an eCommerce site where users need that high level of trust to part with their money.

Here is the blog posted by Google itself so if you want any further information, take a look. And, if you want to discuss this any further with us here at Statement, send us a message on Twitter or Facebook - or if you want a more lengthy discussion then contact us here

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