Google is Making Security a Big Deal in 2018 onwards

Security is the name of the game for websites and SEO today. Google recently announced that starting in July 2018, Google Chrome will send up a warning “UNSECURE SITE” when visitors land on a website that requests confidential information and doesn’t have an SSL certificate.

In the past, an SSL certificate was only required if your website was an e-Commerce or membership site. Now, even if you have an informational website, keeping your website secured with an SSL certificate is a requirement.

Here’s how adding an SSL certificate can help your marketing and SEO efforts:

1. Google gives ranking boost to HTTPS websites.
Since 2014, Google has been encouraging website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS by giving a ranking boost to those sites on HTTPS. Google has gone on record to say that this security factor will be even more important in ranking algorithms in 2018.

2. Increase Your Website Security.
SSL is the backbone of our secure Internet and it protects sensitive information as it travels across the web. Driving traffic to your website is pointless if the site is not secure and visitors feel unsafe.

3.Build trust and credibility
with website visitors. Web browsers now give visual cues, such as a lock icon, to let visitors know if the website has an SSL certificate. Visitors look for these items to know that they can trust the website and feel safe sharing personal information with your company.

What Exactly is IS HTTP/HTTPS;
This is a very technical thing to talk about – but in an effort to make it simple:

HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) – this is just the basic reference to how information is shared on the internet in its original form, basically as plain text. This allows anyone to view that information who gains access.

HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) – this is the same as HTTP but the difference is that the information gets “scrambled” into character strings via an SSL certificate. Only the receiving and sending computers can then see that information. Others may be able to access it – but they will never be able to “read” it because it is so scrambled.

From July 2018 Chrome are label all HTTP pages as non-secure. So even if you do not have private information or e-Commerce, your website will still be marked as non-secure.
But what makes it worse is that future updates may reflect that Non Secure message in red as opposed to gray.

Below is how the URL is expected to be shown for the different security levels in the future.