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Google is now Requiring an SSL Certificate. Your Rankings May Be In trouble

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Website security has become a hot topic due to the publicity of repeated cyber attacks on many websites. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that Google is requiring website owners to secure their sites with an SSL Certificate if they don’t want to get penalized. What does that mean for you if you own a website?

Making Your Site Secure

When someone on the internet reaches your website, they are actually accessing data that’s being kept on your hosted server. When their browser communicates with your data, the communication is not encrypted if the HTTP protocol is used. To alleviate that problem, you must obtain an SSL Ceritificate that will help encrypt the data that is sent between your server and the browser of someone accessing your website. By doing so, you’ll be using the HTTPS protocol, which indicates that communications between your server and a web browser are encrypted.

Algorithm Changes

Google wants to create a valuable experience for anyone who uses their search engine. That’s why they are now requiring website owners to fully secure their websites. The HTTPS protocol ensures that a website has encrypted communications when transmissions are being sent back and forth from the browser to a server. Google does not want to send searchers to sites that lack end-to-end-encryption. In fact, their popular Chrome browser will now indicate if end-to-end-encryption is being used by actually having the word “Secure” and a tiny padlock icon present near the left side of the URL bar. If a website is not secure, Google Chrome will have a small “i” inside of a circle next to the URL. When a web searcher clicks on this, they will be told that their connection to that site is not secure.

Is That All YOU Need?

While obtaining an SSL Ceritificate will work for most of your website, you will want to check to see if you have any mixed content. Some pages will not be totally secure if there is code for videos, CSS, images, text, extra HTML or JavaScript. Snippets of code that create these resources will be sent out with no encryption. To remedy this, you’ll need to make sure that all content is served using the HTTPS protocol, which can often be done by fixing your links — add the “s” to HTTP.

You can see why it’s important to encrypt your website. You will avoid being penalized by Google, and your website will be more secure for anyone who visits.

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