Google Chrome Now Shows SSL Sites as Secure via the URL Browser Bar
As part of our SEO work we have been advising clients on the positive Search Engine Optimisation results that can be gained from having their website served over a secure SSL connection. This means instead of your website beginning http:// it begins https:// and ensures that an end user is connecting to your website server. This helps to ensure that they are not being spoofed or phished with a copy of your hosted site. In previous years SSL was used solely with websites handling sensitive data such as credit cards or personal details. As a professional SEO company we have for years been advocating the more secure delivery of sites via https:// whether you were handling data or not.
Now there has been noise and a general move from major sites to switch to secure connections for months if not years. The likes of Facebook, Twitter and Google all converted their own sites to run via SSL a long time ago. Indeed, degal have been advising SSL connections since 2015, mainly for the improved security and confidence that can be gained from the move. Back in September Google Security blog announced their intention to alter the Chrome warnings as of January 2017. We have now seen the proof of this during the early part of January 2017 as the addition of the word secure alongside the green padlock symbol has appeared in Google Chrome’s URL bar.
More Websites Are Switching to SSL Delivery
As more sites begin switching to SSL delivery the competition in SSL providers is helping to reduce the annual cost of the license. We are also seeing signs that open source developers are attempting to bring free SSL for all websites. Currently we run with Comodo SSL certificates for our clients sites to ensure the most secure, reliable and fastest operating certificates are installed on our sites. We also offer this service as part of an ongoing SEO maintenance package, or at a reduced price for our hosting clients.
Is Your Site Running Over SSL?
If your site isn’t running over an SSL connection then it is only a matter of time before you will see your search engine positioning drop in comparison to lesser optimised sites that do run over SSL. Currently the positive benefit is only a small Google boost from our research, however we do see this as becoming more important in the search engine algorithms and as always the early adopters of good practice always reap the greatest benefit in our experience!
This latest move by Google is an improvement as part of January 2017’s Chrome update and is a clear sign that SSL is the only way forward for website hosting. Currently non secure sites show as per the BBC site example below. The default is an i icon next to the url. When clicked on the non secure connection message is displayed and you are warned not to enter any sensitive data. As time passes we predict this i icon could become a coloured warning, maybe amber then red; or it could even become a more serious and off putting red warning to all site visitors…
Why Serve a Website Over SSL – Security or SEO?
The main reason for serving all websites via SSL is it isn’t just personal data that could be compromised if the visitor is being spoofed or phished. Malicious malware or viruses could be being delivered in tandem to the web page vsitor – all a major no no and the very sensible driver for Google Chrome to go the way they are!
There is also a very strong reason in that your site will gain a benefit in terms of its ranking within Google’s search results. This isn’t guess work, it was blogged about by Google as a positive thing to do! Considering many of their ranking signals are kept completely confidential, the fact Google are telling you about the benefit should be reason enough to convert your http site to SSL and https!
Is My Website Secure?
If you aren’t sure if your site is running over SSL or how good your current SSL Certificated website is then there are some great tools you can use to get a free review of your site – one of our biggest recommendations is this free SSL Test tool over on Qualys SSL Labs .
Hopefully that has answered all your https concerns and has given you a reason to secure your website now…