Blog home

Google to flag sites without a SSL certificate

Written on 07 March, 2018 by Iona Yeung
Categories: NewsWebsite Security

Google has recently announced that websites without SSL certification will be flagged as not secure. This means that when potential customers visit a website without the HTTPS in the address bar, they will see that their website is not secure.

Why it matters

Sites with HTTPS demonstrate to users that they are secure so that visitors can rest assured that any sensitive information exchanged will be kept safe.

However, Google took this a step further, rewarding sites who adhered by giving clear preference to those who carried HTTPS in their search engine ranking factors. This was in the hopes that it would promote widespread change to secure the internet. Google was wrong.

Majority haven’t made the switch

The HTTPS switch has not been at the forefront of an online business owner’s mind. Even after four years, the majority of the millions of websites that grace the internet still do not use the security layer.

At the end of 2017 Google reported that two thirds of the internet was still ‘unsafe’. However, come July this year, the most popular web-browser in Australia, Google Chrome, will inform searchers if a site carries HTTPS certifications or simply possesses the standard HTTP prefix. If a site has the HTTP prefix  Google will let browsers know that the site is ‘not secure’.

What is SSL?

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate is comprised of small data files that carry a cryptographic key to bind details. When an SSL Certificate is installed on a web server, it makes it more difficult for hackers to intercept data provided by the user, such as health details, credit card information and logins.

It is now the standard security point. When a website has this certification, it is shown in the URL handle, changing its form from HTTP:// to HTTPS://.

Why you need SSL certification

Every business needs SSL Certification. Not only does it make your data more secure, it enhances your rankings and ultimately builds trust with your audience. Whether you sell products or services on your site, or simply use the web for lead generation - SSL is  vital.

Security builds trust, and major search engines will not promote your site to page one if people cannot trust your site with their data.

Benefits of SSL

Increased ranking

Google will continue to favour websites with HTTPS through their ranking. This means that they’re more likely to present your website to people looking for your product and service, as opposed to websites without the HTTP. Although there are various other elements that play into ranking factors, it is now arguably one of the more important factors Google bases their rankings on.

Greater credibility

Improving your ranking is great, but what’s even better is the trust you build with your customers. For customers, having an SSL certificate means that any information transferred through your site is safe from interception. It says that you’re serious about your business.

How do I know if I really need SSL certification?

If your website requires users to undertake any of the following, an SSL certificate will soon become a non-negotiable:

  • Make a purchase or provide credit card information
  • Create an account
  • Divulge contact information
  • Provide any personal information

There is no doubt about it. If you want your website to succeed, SSL certification will aid its success. Find out more about SSL with Melbourne IT.