Is your website using HTTPS? Does an SSL Certificate protect it? If not, this article is exactly what you want to be reading right now. The time has come to make the switch to SSL certificate protected domains or feel a drastic drop in the business performance of your website. Google will begin heavily penalising websites for the lack of an SSL certificate. It is highly possible that HTTP websites will stop showing up in search results altogether. Furthermore, browsers will show big, red warning signs, suggesting that visitors leave your website straight away, should it not feature an SSL certificate.
Cyber Security and SSL Certificate Protected Domains
An SSL certificate protects all sensitive data visitors send to your website. This includes Account details, credit card, and personal information. If an SSL certificate does not protect your website, everything visitors send and receive will be easily accessible by third parties. Moreover, the last thing you would want is sensitive customer information falling into the wrong hands. A modern-day SSL certificate provides encryption, strong enough to withstand even the most sophisticated of snooping attempts for dozens of years. They also come with great insurance, varying from $10 000 to over $1.2 million (depending on the type of SSL Certificate).
How an SSL Certificate Builds Trust?
Most Internet users are still unaware of what an SSL certificate can do for their safety, but they already are used to looking for the green padlock in their address bar. The fact that it means security is widely known, even though the user rarely knows that it has to do with an SSL certificate. To further enhance the user comfort, many websites opt for an Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificate, as it provides their website with a green address bar to go with the padlock. The company name showing up in the address bar alongside the website URL serves to instill even more trust into the prospective customers. Furthermore, EV certificates are pretty much a requirement for modern day e-commerce sites, as they provide a higher level of encryption.
Why Google is set on Building SSL Certificate Awareness
Google has always been a company known for placing emphasis on user comfort and safety. As such, they have been implementing changes both to their search algorithm and their browser (Google Chrome), encouraging websites to get an SSL certificate. Their search engine awards the SSL certificate protected sites with higher positions in search results. Google Chrome, on the other hand, goes out of its way to show users whether or not a site is secure.
Last year, Google introduced advanced visual recognition for website safety in their browser. Websites, not outfitted with an SSL certificate, started showing a circled I icon in their address bar, instead of the usual sheet of paper. When hovered over, the icon shows the message “Your connection is not secure”. This happened in Chrome version 53. For the upcoming versions (57 and beyond) Google plans to implement a feature, showing visitors clearly that the website they are visiting is not protected by an SSL certificate, and is, therefore, insecure. This will be signified by a red icon along with a text message.
How to Make Sure that Your Business Benefits from this SSL Certificate Change
Google plans to implement even more drastic changes, both in their search engine algorithm and browser. Websites, not protected by an SSL certificate will show up much lower on the search results pages. This will create a volatile situation, allowing SSL certificate protected websites to quickly get on top of Google while others will most certainly hit rock bottom.
When this change fully comes into play exactly is still unknown, as Google is not a company famous for publicly sharing planned changes in their algorithm. What is known, however, is that the SSL certificate change will be happening during 2017, most likely before the end of spring. The changes coming to Google Chrome will be just as severe as the ones coming to the search engine itself. The browser will be pushing SSL certificate awareness even harder, by suggesting visitors that they leave the unprotected website as fast as possible, offering a “get me out of here” button.
Now is the time to get a quick and easy competitive edge in your business. An SSL certificate already brings a plethora of business benefits – trust building, cyber security and Search Engine Optimisation. Hit two birds with one stone by getting all of these benefits right now and taking a proactive step towards the future advancements of your business!
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