Ribon Internet Services Blog

Our blog. Articles of interest re Internet Marketing and Web Site Promotion. How to increase traffic to your web site.


Be Secure or Die. SSL Becomes Crucial in 2018

Simon Biar - Friday, February 09, 2018

Chrome, which is Google's web browser, will mark all non-SSL web sites as "not secure" from July this year (2018).

SSL is short for "Secure Sockets Layer" and provides for encrypted communication between a web site user and the web site itself. You can tell if a web site is using SSL by either the web site address being of the form "https" (ie. with the trailing 's') or is shown as "secure" in the address bar in your browser (often also shown with a closed padlock icon).

Google has been on a campaign to eradicate non-SSL sites in a bid to better protect web users.

This change is intended to motivate web site owners to switch to HTTPS, which encrypts data in transit to prevent access by attackers to sensitive user information transmitted on the web particularly when users of a web site complete web forms or submit their payment details.

So, if your web site is not using an SSL certificate (and defaulting to the https version of your site) then there will be visual indicators in Google's search results pages which likely will dis-courage web users from visiting your web site some time later this year (2018).

So our advice is to get this done ASAP if you haven't already.

User Bounce Rate and Page Load Time

Simon Biar - Wednesday, February 07, 2018

According to Google's mobile page speed study, as the web site page load time increases on a mobile device, from one second to six seconds, the web site user bounce rate increases by 106%. (Bounce rate: The percentage of single-page sessions in which there was no interaction with the page. A bounced session has a duration of 0 seconds).

Effect of increased page load time on user bounce rate

Page load speed has been used as a ranking signal for quite some time, though it was mostly focused on desktop or laptop searches. As mobile search becomes a greater volume of overall searches, Google announced their Mobile Speed Update which will start to be implemented from July 2018. This update basically means that page load speed will become a more important ranking factor for mobile searches.

Google does suggest that this update will affect only a small percentage of web site pages that deliver the slowest experience to its users. Google does indicate that the actual search query stays a very strong ranking signal meaning that the slowest pages can still rank well providing they have great, relevant content.

Mobile Users

A recent eMarketer artice suggest that 80% of mobile users will leave a site that is slow to load or switch to another device (https://www.emarketer.com/content/half-of-u-s-users-stop-viewing-content-slow-to-load).

This reinforces the justification for the Google change.

80% of mobile users will leave a site that is slow to load or switch to another device

Use Googles Page Speed Insights to check your pages

To check how your web site pages perform, we recommend you use the Google's PageSpeed Insights Test to check you have well constructed web pages that are NOT slow to load.

NOTES:

  1. We have software which helps us check our clients web pages load times
  2. This is one are where Wordpress sites, because of the Wordpress plugin architecture, oftentimes suffer quite badly. Unfortunately, this is one case of 'you get what you paid for' ... and Wordpress is Open Source, or free. This is why we do not recommend using WordPress or other 'free' platforms.