In a recent Search Engine Land article, Patrick Stox explains what HTTP/2 is, and what it means for SEOs. After all, Google has publicly stated that their search engine crawler, called Googlebot, is going to be supporting HTTP/2 soon. As you might recall, I moved this website to HTTPs a few days after Google announced that HTTPs is a search engine ranking factor. I even wrote a checklist for moving to HTTPs soon thereafter. So why is Google really pushing us (especially publishers) to move our websites away from HTTP and to move to HTTPs? And soon over to HTTP/2 in the future?
It’s about the money. It’s about Google killing their competition, getting rid of competing ad networks.
For Google, my opinion is that it’s not just about providing a secure environment and secure websites. In fact, Google actually has a monetary incentive to get as many websites to move over to HTTPs as possible: convincing website owners to move to HTTPs will help get rid of competing ad networks. Let me explain.
There are ad networks out there that don’t use HTTPs. They’re not secure. So, if a secure website (like my website on https://www.billhartzer.com) loads non-secure content (like from a non-secure ad network), then a mixed content warning could appear in the visitor’s browser. About a month ago, though, Google rolled out a version of Google Chrome that dealt with that mixed content warning, though.
Nonetheless, my opinion is that there are several reasons why sites should move to HTTPs, including:
– it’s a search engine ranking factor
– it makes your site more secure
– it gives you an excuse to move to a new server
There are, unfortunately, lots of ad injection companies that are used to spread all sorts of malware and viruses on the web using ad networks that run on HTTP and not HTTPs. I’ve even seen examples of people using those same ad networks to create botnets. Google even did research and wrote a post about the Ad Injection economy.
So, for Google, I know Google’s motto has been “Do No Evil”, so sure, they do want us to have secure websites. But one (major) reason they’re pusing HTTPs and (HTTP/2 in the future) is because it essentially helps them get rid of competing ad networks.