Google Chrome is making a statement with its latest update by disclosing whether a website has an SSL Certificate, inferring that the future of the web-world should be guaranteeing users a safe browsing experience. SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, and acts as a security measure to create an encrypted link between browser and website server. With SSL encryption and HTTPS links, user data and activity is private, whilst also being protected from being tracked or stolen. “The goal of this proposal is to more clearly display to users that HTTP provides no data security,” Google’s Chris Palmer wrote.
Updating your website with an SSL Certificate gives you a HTTPS link, which has the potential to strengthen your SEO ranking. Google is well known to support HTTPS and SSL verified websites over competitors, and this is displayed on page one of many Google searches where 40% of HTTPS or SSL websites feature. Google have confirmed that the certificate could act as a ranking ‘tie-breaker’; meaning that if two websites are identical in every aspect other than one site is secure and one is not, the secure site will achieve a higher SEO status. In the next Google Chrome update we will see this favourability increase dramatically, when sites without SSL certification will be condemned as ‘not secure’.
If your website is labelled as not secure following this new protocol you could risk losing user confidence, and potentially losing business as it may deter people from clicking onto your site, and instead heading to a ‘secure’ competitor. However, in contrast after encrypting your website with SSL you may notice an improvement with your eCommerce conversion rating (if you sell products online), as seeing that green padlock labelled ‘secure’ ensures to users that your website is trust worthy, giving them the confidence to purchase a product or browse your treatment range.