Google published big news last week, announcing that they will start to mark all HTTP sites as “not secure” starting in July 2018. This has been something they were slowly moving towards, but the change in July will affect all sites that are not HTTPS.
Image Source: Google Security Blog
Potential SEO Implications
We consulted with some of our SEO experts to find some of the potential impacts of this change.
The most obvious impact has already begun – HTTP sites are slowly being ranked lower in favor of HTTPS sites. This trend will only continue as 81 of the top 100 websites by traffic use HTTPS by default.
A less obvious impact will occur on the backend in your analytics. Currently, if you have an HTTP site, all traffic from HTTPS site get bucketed under Direct Traffic instead of what it should be, a Referral.
By updating your website to be more secure, you will get insight into referral sites driving your traffic that was previously marked as direct, which tells you next to nothing from an analytics standpoint.
Finally, our SEOs noted that depending on your CMS, implementing HTTPS can be fairly simple – a step that every company should consider making in 2018.
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