At the end of September, Google are going to be marking HTTP sites as non-secure, so when someone clicks on a link or ad to your site using a Chrome browser, they will be met with the “This site isn’t secure” notice. This will drastically reduce traffic and people may be wary of proceeding onto your website. Google has implemented this requirement due to fraud and virus attacks and a secure certificate will validate your site and ensure customers that information they submit is safe and also that the site they are browsing is the real site.
All websites will be affected and all sites therefore need to be https in order to prevent this and have a security certificate unique to your website applied.
How does this affect you?
HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure (or “HTTPS” or “HTTP over SSL”) is the internet standard for secure communication between your browser and any webserver.
The nature of the internet is that it is open to the point that anyone can read what data you send to and from any server. Basically whatever you search for on Google can be ‘read’ by anyone who knows how.
HTTPS solves that problem by encrypting the communication end-to-end: Only your computer and the webserver can see what data gets transmitted. Additionally, HTTPS provides a mechanism to guarantee authenticity: You can be sure you are connected to the right server as long as the green lock icon displays in your address bar.
HTTPS is also good for SEO.
In an effort to incentivise HTTPS adoption, preventing surveillance and to make sure your data is not shared with anyone except your computer and the webserver, Google has made HTTPS an SEO ranking signal – among some 200 others.
Google takes into account HTTPs as a positive signal within its ranking algorithm. The search engine specifies it’s a minor signal compared to the importance of other ones you may be familiar with, but if your website and another website tie on every other ranking signal then having HTTPS will make you rank higher.
Apart from the SEO benefit HTTPS will become more important for a different reason: Google’s Chrome browser will display a lock overlaid with a red X in the address bar for ALL pages that do not have a correct HTTP setup in the near future making your website look insecure and ‘broken’ in the eyes of visitors.
Netgen has sent out communication to all of our clients whose website we host to recommend that we add the SSL security certificate in order to facilitate this important security requirement change from Google. If you have any questions or would like to know more please contact us. https://www.netgen.co.za/contact-netgen-custom-software/