Does Your Website Show Customers That You Are Serious About Security?
On August 6, 2014, Google announced HTTPS as a ranking signal. Essentially, encrypted websites using HTTPS would get a slight ranking boost in Google search results for being more secure and trustworthy.
The search industry exploded in pandemonium after the bulletin. The implication was that eventually only secure websites would be seen as credible. Conspiracy theorists railed that Google just wanted to start selling SSL certificates, while preventing the analysis of keywords to sell more advertising. Moderates pointed out that there were a dozen more important tactics to improve search rankings.
Following the massive government surveillance disclosed by Edward Snowden, the debate has raged on the balance between national security and information privacy. Regardless, Google claims that it just wants to make the Internet safer. The muddy reality is encryption prevents tracking, adds cost and complexity, and the effect on information content is unknown.
Today, Matrixforce is announcing managed services first encrypted website to show customers we are serious about security.
Our motivation is not better search results, but rather a commitment to security and credibility. According to Forbes, 30,000 websites are hacked each day. As reported by SINTEF in Big Data for Better or Worse , 90% of all the data in the world has been generated online in the last two years. Unfortunately, how trustworthy is all that new data?
Here are the key things to know about implementing encryption for your website:
- Controversial choice: Sites like Builtwith show less than 3% of major websites use SSL by default. Technology juggernauts like Apple have not implemented SSL by default. No major news organizations have encrypted their sites. Virtually no Search Engine Optimization firms utilize HTTPS.
- Duplicates problem: Most sites don’t redirect all traffic to HTTPS and also return HTTP versions of pages giving duplicate content discredited with lower search rankings. Consult a professional for executing this strategy and updating analytics.
- Different motivation: SSL is about protection and will only slightly improve search results. For big search boosts, see the Search Engine Watch article 7 Things That Will Improve SEO More Than SSL. Our site traffic went up over 400% when we implemented Managed Services First Bootstrap Website with clean URLs having no extensions.
- Greater commitment: Your website is an intangible asset to educate and entertain customers, while providing a needed product or service. You’ll spend $400 – $800 for a 4 year SSL certificate and your organization must be verifiable. If you are worried about security, then you likely put extra dedication into quality content. Understanding traffic does become more difficult, but customers readily see and appreciate your commitment versus the competition.
We feel it’s more important to provide better security for customers, even if it means we lose some visibility into search analytics. If we all provided more relevant information from secure sites, the Internet would be a safer and more reputable place.