Just over a week ago, July 31st to be exact, Google released the stable version of the latest Chrome browser: 68.0.3440.83 through 68.0.3440.85, depending on the operating system. “Chrome 68” will begin to differentiate between websites that have SSL certificates and those that don’t by labeling them as secure and not secure, respectively. This didn’t come as a shock to many because in February of this year Google said they would start doing this exact thing.
If you’re unfamiliar with SSL certificates, I won’t waste your time trying to put my own spin on it. Instead, I’ll refer you to GlobalSign’s explanation.
Mozilla (Firefox) and others are joining Google on their push to encrypt communication between websites and users. Depending on how you’re viewing this website and on what browser, you’ll more than likely see either a locked padlock (how appropriate) or the word “Secure” to the left of our URL in the address bar up top. That’s exactly how they’re going to tell visitors whether or not a website utilizes an SSL certificate.
So, what does this mean for you and your businesses’ website? Will it impact it’s SEO?
If you sell items on your website, you might want to get an SSL certificate if you already don’t have one. A recent study found that 84% of users would abandon a purchase if data was sent over an insecure connection.
If you’re not selling items on your website, you still might want to get an SSL certificate. Why? While I am unaware of Google, or others, penalizing the search results between websites that have SSL certificates and those who don’t, browsers may soon do just that. Some studies have found that secured websites have slightly higher rankings than unsecured websites but I’m not so sure if it’s the sole reason behind that. No matter the case, not having an SSL certificate will eventually impact your ranking. When and how remains to be seen.
SSL certificates cost between $50-70, depending on your host, annually. If you’re lucky, you might already have an SSL certificate. There are multiple websites available online to check for you; I’ve become fond of SSL’s Shopper’s SSL Checker. Simply type in your URL and check it’s SSL status.
If you would like to learn more about the new push for SSL compliance across the web and it’s impact on websites, here are some additional articles: