Here at HITS, we’re very aware that from June 2018, Google intends to force site owners to adopt SSL security. In addition, it plans to flag your website if it doesn’t have a very active SSL Certificate installed. The good news is that if you’re one of our website clients, you don’t need to worry in the slightest about this development. This is because all HITS built and run websites already feature SSL as standard.
Reward System To Punitive System
For years, Google’s aim has been for everything on the internet to be travelling over a secure channel. So it has been seeking ways to encourage website owners to implement SSL certificates. SSL allows websites to be accessed over HTTPS. This encrypts information sent between the visitor and the webserver. So now, Google has decided to move from a reward system to a punitive one.
Improve Your SEO Ranking
SSL not only securely encrypts your website and your customer’s data. It will also become favoured in the Google Search algorithm, meaning that if your site is SSL encrypted, then Google will reward you with a potentially higher SEO rank. Plus, with GDPR being such a hot topic, it’s good to know that SSL is better for GDPR as the data is more secure too.
Non-SSL Sites To Be Flagged
Starting in June 2018, if you don’t have an SSL ready site, a flagged NotSecure message will be displayed within the URL bar of your browser. This will indicate your website as insecure and a potential threat to that user.
Will Your Site Be Affected?
- Does your site take any text input? This includes card details, contact forms, search bars, login panels etc
- Is your website using HTTP:// in the address bar?
If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, you need to implement SSL to avoid showing a “Not Secure” warning in visitors’ browsers. It would be best if you also were forcing HTTPS on your site to avoid having users accidentally access the non-encrypted version of your website.
Google is already blocking some non-HTTPS websites that allow password fields and credit cards to be filled. So it’s not clear if Google’s next step will be to deny list sites that take text input without SSL. However, this could well make sense from Google’s perspective. As more sites adopt SSL, the remaining websites will require additional incentives to make the switch. On the other hand, we’ve seen Google continuously apply the pressure to SSL encryption, so it’s certainly possible.
How Can HITS Help?
To future proof our client sites, SSL is something that HITS is addressing right away. For all new client sites that we design, SSL encryption is automatically implemented. For existing clients with older sites (as part of our ongoing service and annual hosting fee), we have installed, activated and ensured all data is securely encrypted via SSL on all of their sites. Whether you’re an existing client or considering HITS for your design needs, call us now if you’d like to find out more.