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Trust, Website Security, and SEO

by Randall Craig on March 10, 2017

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet,

Tagged 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: for the first time, the word “secure” appears within the URL bar.
Secure site

Contrast this, with this next screen shot, that does not say secure:

Nestle website - not secure?

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 (Nestle) is not encrypted at all.  Yikes!

Even worse is when a website is not encrypted, and asks the user for their password.  The URL bar explicitly says Not Secure:

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

This week’s action plan:  Open the Chrome browser, go to a few random pages of your website, and then to your site’s 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.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

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Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail’s GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released “Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business”, and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at randallcraig.com and 108ideaspace.com.

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