Google is changing how your website could be perceived.
We all want our websites to be a place people go and feel safe from the threats of viruses or hackers. Google Chrome is aiming to make all websites more secure but by doing this it may cause many sites to be perceived as non secure, and therefore a place where potential clients or customers may not feel safe browsing.
If you open a page in Google Chrome you may notice on the left of the web address (URL) there is the word ‘secure’ or an information icon. If it is the information icon and you click it on it will show you that the site in non secure. The secure sites use an SSL and the non secure websites do not.
Google Chrome is moving towards more publicly, not just with the information icon, presenting websites that are not encrypted via an SSL Certificate as Non Secure and this has the potential to warn off potential customers or clients from safe sites.
What is Google Chrome?
Google Chrome is the most popular web browser in use in the world. According to wikipedia, over 50% of people use this web browser world wide and the remainder of people use a mix of web browsers, making Google Chrome the number 1 browser. These are world wide statistics but going off the data they have gathered this percentage would be much higher if we were just looking at people using the web in Australia.
Therefore the majority of people are viewing webpages using Google Chrome so this information is relevant to all websites who do not have SSL which is the majority of the web.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is an encryption technology typically for E Commerce and Banking websites, wherever sensitive data is processed by the user and required to be protected via the website. So an SSL keeps the details and information you enter into a website safe from hackers.
SSL aims primarily to provide privacy and data integrity between two communicating computer applications. In the past not every website needed SSL as a page without sensitive data did not need to be secure and no message was displayed.
This has changed!
What does it mean for websites?
Currently google Chrome is showing an information icon that when clicked on displays information about the site including that it is not secure. For example;
For the time being, most people are unaware anything has changed and that the site is not secure and therefore it is unlikely to be effecting the traffic to webpages, but this could change.
Google will eventually tell people via a highlighted warning that the site they are visiting is not secure and this has the potential to deter people from visiting webpages. At this stage it looks like this could occur for websites that collect data via forms and the like but this will also be the start of things to come.
When an SSL is purchased and installed Google will present it with the secure sign with the locked padlock and no highlighted warning.
Perception is Key
Google is aiming to make the web more secure, so even if your website does not collect and process sensitive data and thus no traditional need for an SSL, on Google Chrome it will still be presented with the Not Secure warning message. This may cause potential customers or clients to be put off as the site does not look trustworthy.
Eventually, Chrome will show a Not Secure warning for all pages served over HTTP, regardless of whether or not the page contains sensitive input fields. Even if you adopt one of the more targeted resolutions above, you should plan to migrate your site to use HTTPS for all pages. — Google
To solve this problem we recommend installing an SSL to present your website in the best possible light, as a safe and secure place for people to freely browse without the fear of potential cyber attacks.
Once these changes become more mainstream we believe Google will start penalising non secure websites in there search rankings (if they are not already), making this one of the SEO factors that could penalise the ranking of your site. Therefore installing an SSL could improve your search engine rankings, especially if your competitors are not doing it.
Contact us to see how we can help.
About the author
psyborg® was founded by Daniel Borg, an Honours Graduate in Design from the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Daniel also has an Associate Diploma in Industrial Engineering and has experience from within the Engineering & Advertising Industries. Daniel has completed over 1900 design projects consisting of branding, illustration, web design, and printed projects since psyborg® was first founded.
Originally published at www.psyborg.com.au on May 27, 2017.