Why you need more than just HTTPS and SSL on your website
HTTPS and SSL might not be enough
When HTTPS was introduced in 2014, many SEOs rushed to move from HTTP especially after it was announced by Google that the move could help boost rankings. As a result, every SEO company Toronto recommended their clients to get the certificate in order to increase their chances of ranking higher on Google. The truth is, moving your site from HTTP to HTTPS shouldn’t have anything to do with rankings. The main reason why Google mentioned rankings in a post they did to introduce HTTPS was so that they could get people’s attention.
Enhancing web security
One of the main goals of Google, being the largest search engine, is to make the web secure for its users. HTTPS was introduced in order to enhance user’s security when browsing the web. Google doesn’t want its users to visit websites where their credit card details could be easily stolen and hence will not show such websites in their search results. The search engine will prioritize on sites that have HTTPS because it means they will serve users with quality and safe results.
What does it mean to have an SSL certificate?
One thing you need to understand is that having an SSL certificate doesn’t make a website secure. There are lots of fake websites that still use the HTTPS technology. This is because for you to access this technology, all you need to do as a website owner is to obtain the SSL certificate. Once they obtain this certificate from third parties and implement it on their site within just a few minutes, the web pages are considered secure as far as the browser is concerned.
How does SSL certificate work?
Getting an SSL certificate for WordPress website is important but first, try and find out how it works to determine if this is the only sure way to secure your web pages. We’ll try and explain how SSL certificates work in a simplistic way.
When browsing the web and you access a site that has the certificate, the browser will first verify the validity of the certification. It will determine if the SSL certificate is valid for that domain and has been issued by a trusted certificate authority. The browser will also check to ensure that the certificate hasn’t passed its expiration date. Once the verification is complete, the connection is completed by the browser and the user is able to access the site directly. If not, the browser will warn the user that the site is insecure or even deny access to the site.
To understand how secure your website is with SSL certification, you need to know how HTTPS works. The HTTPS technology allows communication between the browser and website server to be in an encrypted format making it hard for hackers to read or tamper with the data. However, the information is decrypted by the browser when it receives it or by the server when it receives it. This means that the server can store some of this data giving hackers an opportunity to access it. In a nutshell, HTTPS allows data to get to the web servers securely but it doesn’t control how well the data is stored.
How to make it work
SSL and TLS are both important technologies that should be implemented properly but also combined with HSTS to prevent data breaches and hacks. These two technologies alone may not secure your website against malicious attacks. Therefore, when designing client websites, it is important to educate the website owners that they need to invest in more secure technologies and not just HTTPS if they seek to protect their users.
Data Encryption On Pay-Per-Click Analytics
SSL Technology Click On
In an effort to increase the security of users on its search engine, Google has been placing quite an emphasis on data encryption. One of the major steps in this new concern was taken in April 2014 when the company extended data encryption to paid searches. As a result the company has been removing data on the various search queries from the ads that people using browsers with SSL technology click on. Only AdWords will be having the data meaning third party providers of Pay-Per-Click analytics will not be able to provide the data. Instead, only a blank space will be seen in the section where the data used to be. Google is also extending this feature to Google analytics.
This has been an ongoing process from as early as 2011. The first phase of this period saw the company encrypt searches coming from users in services like YouTube, Gmail and Google+ and also browsers like Chrome, Safari and Firefox. The eventual result is that marketers, website owners and brands will not be able to tell the keywords which are driving traffic to their websites.
Future Plans By Google
Google plans to encrypt all search queries and traffic from its search engine and platforms. This leaves the only options available to marketers as paid search data, resources in Google Search Console and organic keywords data from other search engines to monitor the traffic from keywords. According to Google these actions are to provide the privacy of its searchers. The company plans to provide SSL encryption to as many users in as many regions as possible. The company has also sought to clarify that the main reason behind the drive is for the users’ benefit and not a business drive to push business to Google Ads. It however acknowledges the move to push for SSL encryption has a knock on effect of potentially higher spend on Google Ads as well as increased dependence on Google resources and tools.
SEO And Data Encryption
With Google aiming for 100% data encryption, the loss of keywords reporting has affected SEO efforts the most. This is because tracking of organic searches and conversions was the best way to analyze and optimize SEO efforts and plans and evaluate their effectiveness. Data from the queries will be able to show the fluctuations in the use of different keywords and how to best optimize them.
How To Adapt To The Changes
With this new data encryption development, marketers, web owners and SEO experts have to find new ways to track and analyze search performance. The best way forward is to develop an integrated approach. For keywords monitoring and their conversion analysis, you will still have to rely on data from paid search, other search engines and past analytics. Click through rates and keyword impressions can be easily obtained from Google Search Console.
How the content on the site performs will become more significant. You can still identify traffic that comes to your site through natural searches meaning a holistic analysis is still possible.