What is HTTPS and Why You Should Care


Published: June 18, 2018 Author: Jason Holicky - Hometown Design Studio Inc.
What is HTTPS and Why You Should Care

Hardly a day goes by without headlines in the news talking about breaches, hacks, and other security problems online. Security is such an important topic that Google has incorporated important security measures into their ranking algorithms. In other words, Google doesn’t want to send searchers to potentially dangerous websites so it actively looks to see how secure a site is before it’s listed in the search results. 

HTTPS Everywhere

If anyone remembers the early days of the web, before typing in the address of a website, you had to put “http://” first. Many of us remember that, but how many know what that even means?

Trigger Warning: Technical Mumbo-Jumbo 

We’ll try to keep it simple so you have an understanding of the difference between HTTP vs. HTTPS without needing a degree in computer science. HTTP stands for “hypertext transfer protocol,” and it is essentially a set of rules that your web browser uses behind the scenes to exchange information between your computer and the website you are accessing. 

HTTPS adds another set of rules for security. Before information can be exchanged between your computer and the website you’re accessing, a conversation is had between the two computers about security. The two agree on a secret handshake of sorts, and no information can be accessed by anyone who doesn’t know that handshake.

Web sites and pages that use only HTTP have no secret handshake. Anyone can tap into the exchange of information and see what’s going on. 

How to Get HTTPS
The two most important components of enabling HTTPS on your website are a dedicated IP and an SSL Certificate. The dedicated IP acts similarly to how a physical address works for your business. Companies that only have a PO Box can realistically be operating anywhere; there’s more trust in a physical street address.

An SSL Certificate acts like an ID card for your website--it’s how your site can prove that it belongs to you and your address. There’s a process for purchasing, activating, and installing SSL Certificates, and then updating your site to redirect anyone typing or clicking HTTP links to HTTPS, but that’s a project best left for your webmaster to handle due to all the technical mumbo-jumbo.

Back to Google & SEO
If you’re trying to climb the ranks of Google’s search results, adding security to your SEO tools is a must. It’s obvious why security measures are necessary for information exchanges that contain sensitive data like credit card and social security numbers, but today’s internet users want that added layer of protection for all of their information. 

Always keep in mind that Google’s customers are the people who are searching the web. Google has heard their call for more secure connections on the web, and its working to meet those needs by giving a bit of extra credit to businesses willing to make security a priority. Plus, like most SEO factors, added security will also make your customers happy so it’s a win-win all around.

About the Author

Creative Director Jason co-founded Hometown Design Studio of New Lenox, IL in 2013. He spends his days guiding and consulting industrial clients and small businesses owners on their marketing strategy and projects. Jason enables everyone to be successful and grow their business by sharing his knowledge and experience.
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