This year, Google will start to alert users that a website without an SSL Certificate installed is ‘Not Secure’ in Google Chrome. Chrome is the most used web browser, and it is likely that other browsers will soon follow suit. The warning will look like this:
What is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is essential for protecting your website, even if it doesn’t handle sensitive information like credit cards. It provides privacy, critical security and data integrity for both your website and your users’ personal information. This ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.
You can tell if a website has an SSL certificate as you will see the padlock in the url bar, and the website will load with the prefix of https://. If you look up to the URL bar at the top of this page, you will see what we mean.
Why you need an SSL Certificate
If you don’t have an SSL certificate installed on your website, Google will start to flag your website as ‘Not Secure’. With SSL certificates, your customers will see visuals like the lock icon and green address bar that indicates well-trusted encryption is in use.
Also, when Google bring their change in that will display your site as ‘Not Secure’ without an SSL, this could drastically impact your website performance with users who feel unsafe visiting your website.
SSL has also been confirmed by Google to be a search results ranking factor. Meaning that by ensuring you have an SSL certificate installed, you will receive a small rankings boost.