You should always be focusing on SEO. If you lose sight of search engine optimization, it can render your website invisible. Google has made some new changes, requiring SSL certificates to be in place as of June 1, 2018. Understanding the requirements will allow you to prepare for the changes.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is a standard security protocol that is necessary to establish encrypted links between your browser and a web server so that online communication occurs.
There are a variety of benefits to having an SSL certificate. First, it will encrypt information so that only the intended parties get access to what is being submitted. This includes information that is on Internet forms, such as contact forms as well as lead generation forms.
Customers who visit your site will know whether you have encryption in place by looking for a few different things. The first is that the web address will read “https” instead of “http.” The second is that there will be a padlock next to the side that shows whether there is an SSL certificate in place or not.
Another benefit to the certificate is that it provides authentication. Customer information will go to the correct server without being intercepted in any way. Customers have the ability to view the documents as validation to confirm that a certificate is up to date and that the information is yours as opposed to an imitation.
Having the certificate is also a necessity for accepting payments. If you are conducting any kind of online business, you want to make sure that the encryption level is 128-bit or higher.
Further, a certificate will guard against phishing. You can ensure that your site is viewed as legitimate as opposed to appearing as a phishing site. If they don’t see the signs of security, they will navigate away from the site without entering any kind of information.
Why is Google requiring an SSL Certificate?
We live in a world where hackers run rampant. As such, Google requirements have changed. Effective June 1, 2018, or the close whereabouts, Google wants to see all websites have an SSL certificate.
If you collect any kind of sensitive information from visitors, whether as passwords, personal data, or credit card information, you need to make sure that your site reads HTTPS as opposed to HTTP. Google Chrome will mark all sites without the HTTPS as non-secure. This means that some people may not even be able to access your website at all if they are using Google Chrome as their web browser.
Additionally, it can hurt your SEO ranking considerably. Google will mark your site as non-secure and take away your ranking entirely.
Imagine spending tens of thousands of dollars to perfect your website. You have a significant amount of traffic, your graphics are on point, and business is booming. Suddenly, Google realizes you don’t have an SSL certificate. They blacklist your website so that it can’t be found in the search engines. When you once ranked at the top for SEO, now, there isn’t even a ranking for your site. Your site traffic diminishes and your business comes to a standstill.
Although this is a worst-case scenario, it can happen. Google is looking to protect consumers more than ever before. One of the best ways to do that is by sending people to secure sites with sufficient encryption. An SSL certificate will show Google that you are capable of protecting customers who visit your website.
Learn more about web design and your digital strategy by contacting ConsciousMKTG today for a free marketing consultation.