By the end of January 2017, Google will now crawl websites and indicate a warning icon (on Chrome browsers) when they do not find an https:// in website URLs.
In Google’s never-ending quest to be the very best search engine in the world, it has made a new rule in 2017 regarding websites.
How will it affect you? And how will it affect your website?
The https:// in websites indicates whether an SSL certificate has been purchased. And it clearly warns visitors, like you, if the site is “not secure” if you’ve been asked to share private information in order to sign up for a newsletter, purchase a product or service, or join a membership site, as just a few examples. Your email address and any credit card information has an extra “blanket of security” so that your private information you are asked for is safe from someone on the same network or a hacker cannot capture your private information.
An “unsecure” website (http://) does not have that “blanket of security” that the SSL certificate provides.
If you sell products or services, encourage people to join your membership site or even if you just have an opt-in for visitors to your site to receive newsletters, a free product like a report, pdf, eBook, audio, etc. and that “warning” has been placed on your site, it is notifying your visitors that their private information is NOT safe.
How do you go about making your site safe?
Your webhost, in most cases, can provide you with a SSL certificate. The cost for this varies with each webhost and some webhosts have special packages where they provide the SSL certificate free of charge. There may be some technical work to be done to integrate SSL on your site. You should discuss this with your webhost as well.