Google homepage displayed on a laptop

Own a Website? You Need To Read This

Remember that old saying, “When I tell you to jump, you ask how high?” Every industry has an 800-pound gorilla that periodically tells everyone to jump.

When it comes to the web, that gorilla is Google. Google and other search engines update and tweak their algorithms all the time. Hundreds of updates occur every year on Google alone. Most of these changes are minor and do not significantly impact your site’s performance. However, others cause us to run for the jump ropes or suffer the consequences.

Let’s talk about website security and mobile friendliness. If your website doesn’t stand up to these two standards, it’s high time to bring it up to speed. Need someone to talk to about the process? Spring Insight is happy to help.

Google Wants Your Website to be Secure.

Next time you are on a website, look at the address bar. The domain will start with the letters “http” or “https.” The difference is that the latter is secure, and all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted. In a standard “http” site, the communication is in plain text, and anyone can read it or even intercept it.

In the past, the land of encrypted (or “https”) sites mainly was one of the banks and eCommerce providers collecting credit cards. But in the era of privacy and cyber security concerns, this is now becoming the standard for everyone.

What does this have to do with search engines? Since 2017, all sites that don’t use encryption have been marked as “not secure” on all Chrome browsers (over 2.65 billion users, I might add). Google also shows a red triangle with an exclamation point warning users if the site isn’t secure and, in more cases than not, shares interstitial pages warning users away from the site. (I told you they were a big mean gorilla!)

What Can You Do For Your Website?

When you bring up your website, look at the domain. Does it say “http” or the more favored “https”? If it doesn’t have the S, give your hosting company a call and ask them for help in getting a secure connection set up. While this is a pretty easy fix for most small business websites, having an expert keep your website maintenance consistently up-to-date might give you more peace of mind.

Google Wants Your Website to be Mobile-Friendly.

Are you looking at this blog on your phone? Probably. Considering that more than half of the world’s population only uses mobile devices to navigate the web. (And that number is only rising with every year.) Search engines used to show different results depending on whether a user was viewing a desktop or mobile device. They have long since done away with that. Google’s algorithm now ranks websites that are mobile-friendly over those that are not.

What Can You Do For Your Website?

Go to Google’s mobile-friendly¬†tester and enter your URL. If Google says that you are mobile-friendly, smile and move on with your day. On the other hand, if Google says you are not mobile-friendly, you have some decisions to make. Unfortunately, there isn’t a switch you can turn on to make your website mobile-friendly. The best approach is to refresh the site with a new mobile-friendly design. The good news is we know someone who can help you out with that.

I know it seems ridiculous (and perhaps even overwhelming) to make all of these changes to our websites just because some Silicone Valley company thinks it is time to do so. But until someone develops a viable Google rival, this is the price we pay for being able to wield the power of the World Wide Web. So, I don’t know about you, but I am grabbing my jump rope.