Google Will Penalize Your Website If You Don’t Have An SSL Certificate. Is Your Site Safe?
Google changes the way they do things. Like A lot.
The algorithm that affects search engine rankings can change slightly on a daily basis and it’s something that as a designer and you as a business owner should be somewhat aware of. You don’t have to know the how’s and why’s of it but you should at least be aware that changes, even small ones are always being made. It’s a scary science.
One small change that happened way back in 2014 was that Google started to consider whether or not your site has an SSL certificate as something that would affect your search ranking, even if it was only a slight factor.
What’s an SSL certificate you ask?
Well, in the most simplest of terms it is an extra security measure that allows information that is collected on your site, say through a form to be encrypted making the transfer of that information more secure. SSL certificates are something that are stored on your hosting companies’ server along with your website.
So this was 2014, what does this have to do with now?
Well Google want’s everyone to have SSL on their site and starting this month, will potentially penalize or mark your site insecure if you don’t have one. Imagine if one of your clients goes to your site to do something simple like grab your phone number and gets a big red “X” and a warning saying “Stop! This site may be harmful!”. That’s just a bad look.
So what can I do to prevent this?
Well if you are a current customer of Nanoworks, you’re all set. We are currently in the process of upgrading everyones hosting and adding an SSL certificate at no extra charge.
If you are not a current customer of ours you have two options, depending on your current situation.
If you have a site that you manage yourself, you will need to reach out to your hosting company (GoDaddy, Hostgator, etc…) and purchase an SSL certificate through them, have them apply it, and then activate it on your site. The certificate can cost upwards of 100 dollars per site and making sure everything works properly after the SSL Certificate is installed can get kind of technical.
If on the other hand, you went through a designer or agency for your site then you would want to reach out to them. They can be your go between with the hosting company and will most likely set everything up for you. It’s an easier, hands off approach and for most businesses is the route you would take.
So to sum it all up, starting now in October 2017 you should have an SSL certificate on your website, regardless of whether or not you collect information through it. It is now considered best practice and will positively affect your Google search rankings and allow you to build continued trust with your clients.
Hopefully you found this helpful and learned a little about these changes!