In a post a few months ago, I explained why getting an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate for your website has grown more important. In short, Google announced they would be giving a ranking boost to websites that utilize an SSL certificate to secure their websites.
You know you’re on a site using SSL because you’ll see that the URL starts with HTTPS rather than HTTP. SSL certificates are what turns on the “padlock” icon on the URL bar of websites that are using encryption. We’re used to seeing these on e-commerce websites to protect visitors’ credit card and personal information.
Google is using its might to force all websites, not just e-commerce sites, but each and every website to use SSL. After all, everyone wants their site to do better in the search rankings. There is so much competition in most verticals, that anything that will give a website even a small advantage is going to be very attractive. This is the carrot, but Google’s popular Chrome web browser is about to have a “stick.”
Starting soon, Chrome users are going to get warnings when visiting insecure websites. This change will come out in waves, with the first wave starting in early February 2017 with the release of the latest version of Chrome. Chrome users who visit websites with forms will see warnings that the form is insecure for payments. Eventually, the warnings will branch out to forms that collect any sort of data and then entire websites that just provide information may bear the warning. And in addition, Google might start labeling insecure websites as such in Google search results. Given that over 55% of internet users are on Chrome and that 75% of searchers use Google, this is a big deal.
The above picture is a screenshot of our website on Google Chrome. You can see that it uses HTTPS by the green padlock and the HTTPS in the search bar.
The above picture is a screenshot of our website on the Microsoft Edge browser. You can see it uses HTTPS by the closed lock symbol in the search bar.
Websites that garner these types of warnings from Google Chrome are going to lose traffic and their visitors will likely feel uncomfortable. It’s better to stay ahead of this and get an SSL certificate for your domain as soon as possible. Although there are potential costs involved (initial setup and yearly fees), the cost of no action may be too great not to act.
We can help Millennium Marketing Solutions customers get a certificate installed. If you aren’t a Millennium customer, contact your hosting company for details on how to get started with SSL.