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Google reminds website owners to move to HTTPS or be labelled as Not Secure

Not Secure Web Warning

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is an important part of marketing strategy for most organizations, with the goal being to appear at least on the first or second page for any given search result.  Some changes are afoot that already have, or may soon have, an affect on your search engine rankings, so action may need to be taken to ensure you maintain your status. 

Since 2014, Google has been pushing the use of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates on web sites as a best practice.  They have been ranking sites with SSL higher in their search engine results.  As of January, 2017, they took this a step further by starting to display the “Not Secure” label (in their Chrome Browser) whenever a non-SSL web site handles credit cards or passwords.  They have announced that they will eventually apply the “Not Secure” label to all pages in Chrome, that are not HTTPS, along with making the label more obvious.  With the release of Google Chrome v62, any pages with forms will be displayed as Not Sucure and users will be advised to avoid the page. 

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates are used on Web Servers to encrypt data and ensure it is transmitted privately, safe from prying eyes.  Such data transmissions include downloads, uploads, submitting forms and viewing content.  It should be noted that while SSL will protect your web site visitors’ data, it does not keep your web site safe from hackers. 

If an SSL certificate exists on a web site, the URL will start with https://.  The “s” at the end stands for “secure”.   An SSL certificate prevents “man-in-the-middle” attacks, where communications can be monitored and even modified by an unauthorized party.  In the absence of SSL, a cyber attacker could take control of the communication, without anyone noticing, and steal data or even impersonate one party. 

According to Moz.com, the prediction is that by the end of 2017, perhaps 70% of first page search results on Google will be on HTTPS.  So, if you want to keep up your SEO rankings, it’s important to get your site updated. 

Updating your site will involve purchasing and installing a secure certificate, changing all web pages to begin with https://.  We suggest contacting your web designer to get these changes implemented sooner rather than later. 

November 09, 2017 7:36:51 PM

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