SSL Security | Google to label majority of websites unsafe

What it SSL and how does it provide security?

SSL SecureAround 60% of websites on the internet use the HTTP protocol (The Hypertext Transfer Protocol). The other 40% is made up of those using HTTPS (The Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure)- secure being the key word. Without delving too much into the technical information, HTTPS is a HTTP protocol served over SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). The purpose of an SSL certificate on your website is to securely encrypt the data sent through the website, i.e. via contact forms, login information and payments.

Is your website at risk?

Google have been steadily progressing with their plan to support Encrypt All Things by labelling less secure HTTP sites as unsafe. Google are planning to roll out a change to their search rankings, where your placement will depend on whether your site is unsafe or secure.

If your website is using HTTPS, there is nothing to worry about. However, if your website is one of the 60% that still use HTTP, then it will eventually fall down Google’s rankings as they look to prioritise their results depending on if the site is secure or not.

So why is Google going to label websites as unsafe?

“The goal of this proposal is to more clearly display to users that HTTP provides no data security.” Google’s Chris Palmer

This is definitely a strong move by Google, but one we believe to be necessary and progressive! This proposal is definitely pro-user, providing more trust and security; it makes sense to want any important information passing through a website you’re using to be safe. It can aid the provider too; if a user sees that little green padlock and the word secure next to your URL, it can go a long way to helping, for instance, a purchase on an eCommerce site.

Are there any disadvantages to setting up an SSL certificate?

There are a few- it can be quite costly both financially and in relation to the time taken to set up the certificate. Aside from the cost of purchasing the certificate, when moving a site from HTTP to HTTPS there will be redirects to add, and it is likely your site will take a hefty knock to its ranking on Google at first due to changing your URL.

So, should you get an SSL certificate?

Yes. With Google moving HTTPS sites to the forefront of their search results and the numerous security & trust benefits that an SSL certificate can provide, the advantages of integrating a SSL certificate and moving over the progressive web world of HTTPS far outweigh the disadvantages.

If you would like more information and to discuss how we can help you smoothly integrate an SSL certificate into your website so that you can move with Google’s plans, please get in touch.

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