One of the challenges of working in the digital world is constant change. Software, servers, and standards are always evolving to improve user experience, which is great! But it also means to keep your website relevant, you have to keep up with features and updates as they are released.
We’d like to inform you of some future Google search engine changes we are predicting, based on our observations from the past. Over the last few months we’ve started to notice Google’s tastes start to change in terms of their preference for websites with SSL.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. Having SSL will let you encrypt your web url between the server it is connected to and the browser you are using. In the past, most websites that were urged to use SSL if they collect sensitive or personal information like credit card numbers or social security numbers on job applications. You can find out if a site has SSL enabled by looking at the beginning of the url, “https:” the “s” indicates the active SSL.
Recently, Google Search Console sent out an email notifying users of the following changes, “Beginning in January 2017, Chrome (version 56 and later) will mark pages that collect passwords or credit card details as “Not Secure” unless the pages are served over HTTPS.” Meaning soon, Google will start tagging websites that are not SSL secure to educate users that if they enter their information on that site, it could be unprotected.
Google went further to state, “The new warning is the first stage of a long-term plan to mark all pages served over the non-encrypted HTTP protocol as “Not Secure.””
What We Predict
Considering what Google has released, we predict that websites without SSL will face one of two crises in the near future:
- Users will feel unsafe visiting unsecure websites. Meaning when a user comes to your site and sees that Google has flagged it as unsecure, they leave right away, increasing your bounce rate and decreasing your overall traffic.
- Your website rank will slowly drop. One of Google’s goals is to offer the best possible quality search for their users. Recognizing this, we predict that Google will start to consider websites without SSL unhelpful to users and rank them lower. Since Google mentioned this is part of a “long-term plan” we predict that further down the road Google will actually denote ranking sites that do not carry SSL.
What this Means for You
If your website currently has SSL, nothing will change. Way to go! Check back here as we will re-assess and monitor Google’s SSL protection advances and keep you in the loop. If you do not have SSL enabled on your website, take a step towards it today! Talk to your website developer about how to enable SSL on your website.
Not sure what the next step is? Connect with us at Art Unlimited today so we can get you on the right path for SSL.
We know that developing the trust of your website users is absolutely vital to gaining their business, and we are passionate about helping you do this to the best of your abilities!