Google have revealed that all Blogger-hosted blogs will use a secure HTTPS connection in future, with the transition due to be completed by early May.
HTTPS means any data sent by the website to the user’s computer, or vice versa, is encrypted so that sensitive information like credit card numbers cannot be stolen simply by intercepting the connection or Wi-Fi signal.
Blogger users already had the option of activating HTTPS in the settings for each of their blogs, but that is now being removed as a manual preference, and secure connections will be the default option in future.
The move cements the importance of HTTPS for SEO, coming several months after Google specifically stated that secure websites would be given a ranking boost in their results pages.
It’s quite unusual for Google to be vocal about specific ranking factors – usually SEO experts have to carry out extensive testing to work out what the algorithms are looking for most – but it’s symbolic of the importance the search engine giants have put on website security in recent years.
The move also means that whatever subject area your website operates in, if you are not Blogger-hosted, there are now probably hundreds if not thousands more HTTPS-enabled blogs taking a bite out of your search rankings.
As such, if you didn’t already reconsider your web hosting package when Google made their initial announcement about preferring HTTPS, it’s definitely a good time to do so now.
While you’re at it, consider updating your website template if it is not mobile-friendly, as this is the other major ranking factor introduced by Google in recent years.
Again, while it is unusual for Google to comment on specific ranking factors, they have made clear that a mobile-friendly website will receive preferential treatment in results given to users on mobile devices.
You should have either a stripped-down mobile template that your website reverts to on phones and tablets, or a fully responsive design based on the size of the user’s ‘viewport’ or browser window.
We can help you to put either option in place, as well as using Google’s own mobile-friendly testing tool to demonstrate that your new template meets the requirements on issues like font sizes, space between hyperlinks, and so on.