I have some great news for you!
In 2017, SEO is going to get even simpler! (I know, it was simple already :>)
Woo hoo, let's all do a little dance.
Sorry, I was only joking. I hate dancing. (Aussies can't dance anyway - remember, we were all criminals exported from the UK)
Let me actually tell you the truth.
Things just got a little bit more crazy on the SEO, HTTPS and WordPress front.
WHAT? Haven't you been paying attention?
Or maybe, you just don't give a ship about all this tech stuff?
In 2017 that might change my technophobic friend.
For you and for me. Yes, we are both in this ship together! Down the creek without a paddle...
(look at the URL of my website - IT IS NOT HTTPS EITHER!).
Can you believe it all started with Google?
Back in 2014 Google made serious moves to add HTTPS as a ranking factor in search.
Here's the infamous Matt Cutt's tweeting about it:
What does that mean for non-gobbledygook speakers (aka non-seo people)?
If your website is HTTPS then Google might give you some love! And we all enjoy some lovin' from Google, right?
Moves our websites up and up in the rankings and gives us more free traffic from search.
Don't you just love free search traffic, instead of paying for ads? (that was another recent rant of mine).
But then in September, things got a little more serious...
So, where was I...
Oh yeah, back in September, Google rather quietly announced (imagine this in a hushed tone):
- Mr Google.com
Did you catch that?
Starting in January (aka next month), "THE GOOG" is going to show Chrome users a big ass "insecure" sign on your front door.
Remember, Chrome is the world's most used browser - at 56%. Yes, everyone except my Dad is using Chrome.
Are you accepting credit cards or asking users to enter passwords?
This is what it will look like in January (see that BIG RED Not Secure sign) :
Not sure I want one of those on my website, do you?
Just like a late-night TV ad, there is more good news, and it ain't a set of steak knives!
Google is not stopping with web pages containing passwords and credit cards - that is just the beginning of this merry dance.
WOOOAH....see that last sentence: "Eventually, we plan to label all HTTP pages as non-secure."
Translation: if you don't have https, all your pages will have that nasty red label in chrome.
AT SOME POINT IN 2017 (is my guess).
Google starts the ball rolling, and now everyone is jumping on the HTTPS train.
This is what inspired me to write this post actually (yes, I don't have a muse sitting next to me).
WordPress is now making a move towards encouraging (aka pushing) HTTPS.
It is not clear exactly what they will be doing, but here is what their boss (Matt's his name) said on December 1:
Cutting through the tech-speak for you: WordPress are encouraging HTTPS and are slowly going to enforce it on developers who wish to work with them.
Who knows what the final version of this move will look like, but things have just gotten even more serious in the HTTPS game!
Just watch this lass, she is HTTPS savvy!
WOOT! (Man, where do people get the time to learn this stuff!)
Alright, you only ask difficult questions. Damn you!
First let me explain a few things first...
HTTPS is all about SSL certificates.
When anyone talks to you about HTTPS it can get confusing, so here are the cliff notes:
Moving to HTTPS can be quite simple, if - you use WordPress and have a simple site (not so many pages).
OR, it can be a little more complex - if you don't.
There are a few steps to doing it the easy way, and lots more pain and frustration if it does not go well. (your site might break for starters! I am sure you will enjoy that.)
So, I don't recommend it as something you take lightly. (despite some people having it easy)
(HINT: I have not done it yet because it can go horribly wrong and might take me days to fix).
I am not here to tell you how to do it, because I have not (and I don't like pretending to be a doctor on the internet).
Instead I will point you to a few reputable people who have and know what they are talking about.
If you are not "technical" (unless you are severely strapped for cash) I don't recommend doing this yourself as the results can be disastrous.
Here are the posts worth checking out:
There are loads more guides on Google, just check out Google.com (and type in "migrate to https wordpress" or not WordPress, if you don't use it - Seriously, no WordPress?).
I honestly don't think I have a choice.
Can I be bothered?
I have better things to do than screw around with my website and perhaps break it.
But, the push is there both on the Google/SEO front and on the "not scaring away my customers" front.
It seems like we have a little time as HTTPS is only going to affect credit card payments and passwords in January.
But, the clock is ticking!
Look, here is a watch you can check...
Ashley is obsessed with SEO and WordPress. He is also the founder of Mad Lemmings. When he is not busy helping clients get higher on Google he can be found doing crazy sports in the Swiss Alps (or eating too much chocolate - a habit he is trying to break).