May 24, 2018
SITES WITHOUT SSL CERTIFICATES WILL NOW BE FLAGGED AS INSECURE BY GOOGLE CHROME
Through an announcement made on February, 8th, Google has publicized its intentions to officially flag websites without SSL Certificates as insecure. The SSL Certificate, when present on a website, results in an HTTPS secure URL string. The new policy will take effect from "early July 2018".
Web surfers will be notified of such websites, as they will be flagged with a warning in the URL bar of the surfer's browser. The non-secure flag, which could be red, is to come with the release of Chrome 68 by early July.
Google also stated that there is a rise in the HTTPS growth and scale, meaning that most site owners are taking the warning seriously. However, there is still a significant percentage of website owners still to comply. This might be to the non-understanding of what HTTPS encryption is all about, as well as maintenance and costs involved.
WHAT IS AN SSL CERTIFICATE?
SSL certificate refers to a security certificate that is installed on a web server. Once installed, it sets off a secure connection between the web servers supplying the content being viewed by the web surfer. Hence, in addition to the website’s URL protocol switching from HTTPs to HTTPS, there will also be a security padlock present in the URL.
One advantage of SSL certificates is that they help reduce cybercrime often perpetrated by exploiting loopholes in web browsers, including seizing sensitive information like credit card numbers.
- Importance of Google SSL Requirements
- Creates Trust and Builds Brand Power
- Ensures Sensitive Information are Encrypted
- Offers Authentication
Google SEO and Websites without HTTPS – The Need for Adaptation
According to Google’s disreputable search algorithm, non-HTTPS encrypted websites are not entirely handicapped. However, it is comparatively safer to think that websites with security warnings could lead to distrust of surfers, ultimately contributing to drop-in search engine rankings. Though there are other search directories in the world bigger than Google, they operate the most-used web browser online – Google Chrome. Hence, their top role in browser and search directory use implies that they wield significant power as regards modifications like flagging non-HTTPS websites.
SSL Cost – Free Certificates Available
Google does not sell SSL certificates, and you can only get one from your hosting company for around $70 per year. Though some hosting outfits are exploiting this situation to charge outrageous fees, the overall prices are reducing due to increase in demand.
You can try using the free service from Let's Encrypt. Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA), run for the public’s benefit. It is a service provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). Depending on your website hosting, you may be able to obtain a free SSL certificate to use on your website.
It is crucial for all legitimate e-commerce platforms, shopping carts, and merchant banking processors to ensure that their websites are SSL/HTTPS secured. Websites without such security will ultimately be exposed to the risk of a dip in search rankings and visitors traffic.