AcornDomains, a domain name forum for the .UK domains, recently switched to using a SSL certificate and serving pages over secure HTTPS protocol. You can read what the administrator of AcornDomains said about the SSL/HTTPS move here;
We’ve upgraded and made the move to SSL / HTTPS. I’m very clear it was going to need to happen so there’s no point delaying. Thank you to the people who made it happen e.g. @Adam H and my host. I take some of the things Google says with a pinch of salt and consider some of it as propaganda but SSL is going to be a fact of life IMO. So here we are. Upgrading your membership is always appreciated … its 24 gbp for a years forum support with benefits…just sayin.
The switch makes sense since most of the other major domain name discussion forums have moved to SSL/HTTPS. This includes Namepros and DNForum.
The change comes as Google is encouraging, while really forcing, many webmasters to switch to using SSL/HTTPS. Google has publicly stated that sites that use SSL/HTTPS will have an SEO (search engine optimization) boost. In addition websites that have login forms for users, such as forums, would start displaying a red warning indicating if the site was using standard HTTP protocol in Google’s Chrome browser.
The switch happened earlier this month but as a Chrome and Firefox user I’ve seen no red HTTP warning indicators while using Chrome. Maybe Chrome developers forgot to push the update?
Some have claimed they feel the SSL/HTTPS push is just another Google experiment. Do you remember the Google Authorship program? It was an attempt Google had to bring more “authority” to articles in it’s search engine for users. It would display a picture under articles tell you who wrote it. The Google Authorship program felt more like a veiled attemtp to get everyone using Google+, the company’s failed social network answer to Facebook.
Google killed the Authorship program without a clear explanation. People speculated it was affecting the company’s ad business click-through-rates to PPC (pay per click) ads were down. It made lots of SEO firms, webmasters, and regular joes annoyed since they were pushing everyone to use Authorship and Google just chucked the entire thing.
John Mueller, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, has publicly stated that the move to use SSL certificates and serve pages over HTTPS isn’t going away. So you start a new site it should load using HTTPS and webmasters should move sites to it eventually.
There are ways to get free SSL certificates through Comodo via your web hosting company. There is also LetsEncrypt which is what AcornDomains used.
Is switching to SSL/HTTPS a good move for AcornDomains? Have you made the switch to SSL/HTTPS with your sites? Are you planning to in the near future? Do you find it annoying Google is doing this?