To improve its customer’s safety, Google has announced that from October 2017 all websites without a valid SSL Certificate will be marked as a site that is ‘not secure’.
What is an SSL Certificate?
‘SSL’ stands for Secure Sockets Layer. The certificate establishes a secure connection between anybody who visits your website, and the site itself. Like a domain name, an SSL Certificate is required to be renewed annually. It encrypts details that a visitor may fill out on your website, for example on an enquiry form, and keeps this information secure from hackers.
Why do you need an SSL Certificate?
If your website domain does not have an SSL Certificate then visitors to your website may be put off, as a message will pop-up saying that the connection to the site is not secure. This could worry potential customers that their information is not safe on the website, so they may click off or go to an alternative site that is secure.
You may have noticed that some internet addresses begin with ‘http://’ or ‘https://’, the additional ‘s’ in the later stands for ‘secure’. On Google Chrome a green padlock will appear with the word ‘Secure’ for a secure site, this means that this site has a valid certificate.
How does an SSL Certificate affect SEO?
From October 2017 Google will place a warning sign on any website that is not secure. This can have an impact on search engine optimisation (SEO) as it means that people visiting your site may not stay for long as they fear their information is not safe on the site. Websites with an SSL Certificate will certainly look more credible, so your website will want one to gain trust from potential new customers.
Additionally, from being a secure site more data will be gained in a Google Analytics report and your Google ranking will be improved. This is because Google is encouraging all websites to secure their visitor’s information with an SSL Certificate. Even if your website does not collect any personal information, Google has said they will reward all sites that go secure.
If you have a website with us, don’t worry
We will be in contact with all of our clients to discuss the SSL Certificate. You’ll have a green ‘secure’ padlock on your website in due course!