As of October 2017, Google has announced it will be penalising websites that aren’t serving their site through HTTPS alongside a valid SSL certificate.

The announcement comes as Google and other search engines encourage website owners to start taking website safety and protecting customers seriously.

Google’s Webmaster Central was created to give search marketers an idea about what the search engines like and what they don’t. Over the years the guidelines have been updated and provide warnings and suggestions for what they want from a good website. All the specifications are joined together in a ranking algorithm. Fail to get this right, any SEO campaign would be a waste of time and money.

We’ve already seen a huge shift in the algorithm with ‘Mobilegeddon’. All site owners were warned to become more responsive and mobile friendly. Google eventually released a mobile-first ranking system. Many site owners who hadn’t taken the steps to be mobile first saw a huge drop in ranking position.

Protect your site and customers

Now, Google’s update centres around site security, protecting customers data and working to make transmitting data online a safer place for all. If your site’s not protecting by an SSL certificate, not only will your rankings drop significantly but it will also put customers off from buying from you. These customers are unlikely to return. They’ll assume your site is unsafe to buy from. Some customers may even think your site’s been hacked, or think you don’t care enough to make your website secure.

SEO will suffer if SSL is not installed!

So, by not having your site secured with SSL, whether you sell online or not, your brand reputation will suffer. Not to mention another crucial factor, your SEO. Google has already started de-ranking sites that aren’t secure. Exactly what they did with non-responsive websites. The quicker you react and have SSL installed on your site, the less it will suffer when the update has fully completed.

My site shows’unsafe’ warnings – what can I do?

Non secure website warningSimply put, make your site secure. If you want to stop any ‘unsafe’ warnings in your visitors and customers browsers you’re going to have to make the transition from HTTP to HTTPS. The ’S’ at the end stands for Secure. HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. This works as a trust mark for both search engines and users. It reassures them that any sensitive information on your site is safe.

Choose a trusted SSL provider

There are free SSL certificates out there, but like everything in life, you get what you pay for. Many free SSL providers aren’t trusted, global partners. These type of certificates aren’t very well encrypted. It’s likely your certificate will be revoked by Google and other search engines if you use an untrusted partner.

Already, Google is assessing SSL providers and judging your site based on the category quality of your security. If you want to get ahead of your competitors and avoid being penalised by Google’s new security update then get in touch with us today.

We partner with Comodo who offer the highest certificate security and Quesst can take care of everything for you, including the purchase of your SSL site certificate and installation.

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