Well, here’s another one of those “Come on, Google” moments. You know how Google has been pushing sites to go HTTPS? Well, people trying to get into Google’s own Trusted Store program have been rejected because their sites use HTTPS. Unbelievable.
In May, I was told that we did not qualify to become a trusted store at this time because our entire site is served via HTTPS, that you are aware of this limitation and that it is being addressed. Despite arguing that there is no reason to shuttle e-commerce customers between HTTP / HTTPS protocols anymore, that using HTTPS to protect all customer interactions is essential, and that Google now recognizes HTTPS as a signal to rank sites higher in search results, there was nothing that could be done and I would have to wait for a fix.
Luckily, Google has acknowledged the problem. A Googler responded with:
The Google Trusted Stores team is actively working with Merchants that have a full HTTPS website to make it possible for them to display the Google Trusted Stores badge. We ask that they please contact the Trusted Stores team for more information.
To be fair, HTTPS wasn’t announced as a ranking signal until August, but Google has been making a big deal about it for quite a while. At its Google I/O conference earlier this year, they called for “HTTPS everywhere”.
Earlier this month, we learned that while only 10% URLs on the web crawled and discovered by Google are HTTPS URLs, 30% of its first page search results contain at least one or more HTTPS URLs.
Suffice it to say, it matters to Google. It seems ridiculous that sites that have adapted HTTPS wouldn’t be able to get into the Trusted Stores program.
The program was launched three years ago as a way to help online shoppers find merchants they can trust. HTTPS-using merchants would seem among likely candidates for that label.
Google “Trusted” status even has bearing on paid search ads. Last November, Google announced that the program would help to power seller ratings on AdWords text ads.
While Google says it’s not the gateway to the Internet (and technically it’s not), it is still how the majority of people find things. It really needs to get its act together on some of this stuff.
Image via Google