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BLOGTrust, Website Security, and SEO

by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Technology, TrustTagged as: ,

Whether real world or on the web, trust is a powerful factor. For users of the popular Chrome browser, Google recently made a change that is sure to give many people pause.  Consider the image below: notice that the “lock” is shown within the URL bar, and the “https” (which is the secure protocol) is being used.

Trust, Website Security, and SEO

Contrast this, with this next screen shot, where the URL bar explicitly says Not Secure:

Insecure site

The key difference between these two sites is that the first site (mine) is encrypted (look at the URL that starts with “https”), while the second example (Apache) is not encrypted at all.  Yikes!

While there are a few technical challenges – and potential additional costs – to serving the entire site in a secure, encrypted fashion, we strongly recommend that this be done immediately.  Browsers now explicitly show the page’s security status: not secure is a brand-weakening, trust-losing epithet.

THIS WEEK’S ACTION PLAN

Open your browser, go to a few random pages of your website, and then to your site’s home page, and also a log-in or subscribe page.  Does the word Secure appear in the URL bar of the browser?  If not, then insist that this change be made as a priority.  If it is there, congratulations – you get a bonus. Google will reward your site with an SEO boost, just because it is secure.

Tech note:  All major browsers, from Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge all handle the communication of secure / insecure slightly differently, and it always changing.  The key point is to ensure that all of your site is served in a trust-building “secure” manner, using https://.

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