PSA: DZO’s It’s Time To Secure Your Website
Remember the good old days of marketing your DZ? The whole sphere revolved around an ad in the Yellow Pages, 1-800-SKY-DIVE and giving out a massive and unattractive bumper sticker. Leaves you pining for simpler times, doesn’t it?
Today, a huge piece of the marketing puzzle revolves around one company: Google. As Google goes, so does your business (and the world). It’s either comply or see your precious rankings start to drop, and with it site traffic, and with that, online bookings.
Today, we’re discussing an update from Google that needs your attention. If you have a tendency to glaze over when you hear anything technical, here’s what I want you to know before you click out of this page: it’s time to make your website secure. In other words, if your domain name begins with http:// and not https:// it’s time to add the ’s’.
What Is HTTPS?
You’re probably already somewhat familiar with the https protocol as it’s standard on e-commerce sites like Amazon. We wouldn’t think of submitting our credit card info on a site if we weren’t sure that the page was secure. Sites that display the https protocol have installed an SSL security certificate on their site. This certificate helps ensure that communication of sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and personal information cannot be stolen by 3rd parties when a user interacts with a website.
So Why Do I Need HTTPS on My Site?
The short answer is – because Google says so. Over the past few years, Google has been pushing all websites (not just e-commerce sites) to adopt https in an effort to create a more secure browsing experience across the web.
A few weeks ago, Google announced that beginning in October, its Chrome browser will start showing a “NOT SECURE” message on any http page which includes a text input field. Eventually, it will mark all http pages as “NOT SECURE”.
Google’s focus is to provide a better user experience by increasing security. This makes sense as we all want more security, but Google seems to care less about the complexities faced by website owners when switching from http to https. Unfortunately, the process of moving to https is more complicated than simply purchasing an SSL certificate – especially if you care about your rankings in Google.
For example, when The Washington Post decided to make the switch to https in 2015, it took the publisher 10 months to complete the process! You can read about it in this blog post.
What We’re Doing About It
In preparation for the changes coming in October, our SEO and web development teams have charted out a detailed strategy to assist our clients with a smooth transition to HTTPS. We are advising everyone to think about making this change sooner rather than later. Having portions of your site flagged “NOT SECURE” by Google could certainly erode customer trust in your website and your brand. We encourage you to get ahead of the curve and get onboard with Google’s shift to https. If you’re ready to make the switch, contact us for further details.