If the Equifax data breach hasn’t already gotten you scared, now there’s even more reason to safeguard your website with an SSL certificate …
Google’s using its ubiquitous web browser, Chrome, to fight the war against unsecure sites. Beginning in October, Chrome will call out sites that don’t have an SSL certificate by labeling them with a bright red caution sign that says “Not secure.” These Chrome warnings will likely hurt unsuspecting business owners who don’t have an HTTPS site by scaring off potential site visitors, reducing leads, lowering conversions and losing sales.
As SEO experts, we also know that protected pages have been getting a boost in Google’s search engine rankings since 2014. So, if your site doesn’t already have an SSL certificate, it’s time to get one!
Protecting your site should be fairly simple
Connect with your web host and ask them for the security update. And they’ll most likely do it for free.
For example, ClickMonster’s web hosting division, Big Time Host, automatically provides free SSL certificates. (Big Time Host also offers nightly backups, updates software and takes other measures to stop hackers before they attack.)
If your host DOESN’T provide SSL certificates, we recommend shopping around for a new provider … Or, install an SSL certificate yourself.
How does HTTPS Provide Privacy
Whenever there’s an unsecure connection, someone can steal a site’s metadata, aka small bits of information. Individual metadata might not seem important, but, put it all together, and hackers can find out a lot about user intent and personal information. But, please be aware SSL certificates can’t entirely prevent your site from being hacked.
Google Ranks HTTPS encrypted sites higher in Search Results
Google announced it would be using SSL certificates as a ranking factor for websites in 2014 at the Google I/O Conference. (For more information, check out Google’s HTTPS Everywhere video here.)
These new warnings also cause us to assume unprotected sites will be penalized even further with a negative ranking component in Google’s search engine.
Another reason why Chrome warnings are crucial
Chrome dominates the online browsing industry. Pulling website data from 100 random websites we monitor at ClickMonster, we found about 60% of folks use Chrome, as compared to other browsers like Safari, Firefox and Explorer.