Google Ramps Up Penalty for Not Having an SSL Certificate

By John Eberhard

An SSL Certificate (stands for Secure Socket Layer) is the security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and your browser. This link ensures that all data that is passed between the web server and browsers remains private.

https://realwebmarketing.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/SSL-cert.jpgThis is vital in protecting any information that people send to you via your site, such as when they fill out a form on your site, or when they buy something from your site if it is set up as an e-commerce site.

An SSL certificate changes the beginning of your website address from http: to https:.

Back in November I wrote an article on how Google was starting to penalize sites that did not have an SSL certificate.

There is a new development in this saga that every business owner needs to know. Starting in July, with the release of the Google Chrome 68 browser, ALL sites that do not have an SSL certificate will be marked as “Not secure” right next to your web address in the URL bar.

Starting in January 2018 they started doing this with SOME sites that didn’t have an SSL. But in July they will start doing this with ALL sites that don’t have an SSL. Here’s how it will look:

Here’s an article from Google stating this. https://security.googleblog.com/2018/02/a-secure-web-is-here-to-stay.html

What’s It Mean?

If you don’t have an SSL certificate, it means Google is currently penalizing your site in rankings. And the “Not secure” notice will appear in the browser starting in July.

So if your site either sells products online or you rely on getting people to fill out forms to contact you or become leads, this could hurt your business. Because the more alarming the notice, the less people will trust filling out a form or buying something on your site.

What’s the Handling?

First, you have to purchase an SSL certificate from the company where your site is hosted. These range from free with some hosting companies, up to $100 per year per site.

You can buy an SSL from a company other than your hosting company, but I would not advise it because it makes the implementation much harder and take longer.

Once the SSL certificate is purchased it has to be implemented on the site. The site’s URL will then start with https: rather than http:.

Second, some additional work needs to be done on the site. All the internal image links on the pages need to be changed. If they are not changed, the URL bar will look like this:

Once they are changed, the URL bar will look like this:

That’s the goal, as that marking will give visitors confidence in the security of the site.

To get your site set up with an SSL certificate, contact us now.