Google, the most powerful search engine on planet earth, is continuing to perfect the average user’s search experience with their upcoming modification to Google chrome.
With the roll out of their newest version of the Chrome browser in October users on your insecure site will now be made aware that it is in fact insecure, and that any information entered in forms on your site may be at risk of digital theft.
The way Google plans on doing this is not a reason to rush out and get your SSL right away, and will likely not immediately impact your business negatively. In fact, you may have already experienced it while using Chrome in incognito mode.
In the search bar next to the site address, if your site is NOT secured with SSL and someone begins filling out a form the below will appear:
This however, is just the October update. Chrome Security Team Emily Schechter has informed us that as time goes on, Google will only continue to value user security over all else, and the warnings will only become more prominent as time goes on.
Many of the recent changes to not only Chrome, but the Google algorithm as well, have been focused on rewarding sites who’ve taken extra measures to keep the information of their users secured.
Take Adwords. Your ad’s quality score is affected by whether you have an SSL or not. Essentially, you’ll be spending more money on advertising if you DO NOT have an SSL, and the FREE to $100 investment could potentially save you a few hundred bucks a year on ad spend.
In the search algorithm, if all sites were created equal, you’d see those with SSL rank higher than those without based on the fact their security measures are better than the competition.
SSL is certainly not the be all and end all right NOW, however I’d implement it sooner rather than later as the trends will only continue towards rewarding security-conscious websites.
If you are a WordPress user, you may want to switch to a hosting provider that provides free SSL certificates as part of their service, like Siteground, who offers free Let’sEncrypt certificates for all their hosting packages to help make the adoption of this practice a bit smoother.