Google’s New Algorithm Update Might Mark Your Website As Unsafe
Beginning on October 24th, all Google users browsing on Google Chrome will see a “not secure” warning for HTTP web pages that all text input. This refers to everything from login details to payment information. This includes search boxes, too. If your site has a search box, it means you have the ability to collect data on what your users are searching, even if you don’t collect payments or have a site registration feature.
The company first announced Google 56, its own version of root-security authority, in January. The push is aimed to help Google properly convey to users when sites aren’t safely securing their sensitive data, in hopes that it will help reduce the volume of compromised data. Google also wants to encourage website owners to use progressive Google web apps (some that allow access to user cams and mics) that require SSL certification.
What Is An SSL?
An SSL is a digital document that verifies that your website is legitimate and all information entered is protected. In short: it creates a secure connection between the site server and the browser, and adds a layer of encryption to prevent any attackers from impersonating your business and stealing sensitive information. The cost of SSL certificates vary depending on the provider and any extra features you want incorporated into the certification.
Major Businesses Are Currently Not Secure
A Google Transparency Report revealed a large number of major businesses that didn’t have HTTPS, including Alibaba, CNN, Amazon AWS, and BBC. With over one billion users on Google Chrome, this will prompt a hefty amount of them to enable site-wide HTTPS.
Up until now, Google displayed unsecured HTTP sites with a grey indicator which, according to Google teams, doesn’t accurately help users understand the dangers of inputting information on HTTP sites. The new “not secure” warning will be in red, which previously was reserved for broken HTTPS sites only.
Understanding How Chrome 56 Affects SEO
Websites that don’t have an SSL certificate will be hit hard, and this will affect SEO. Google users trust the search engine, and even sites with reliable traffic can expect to see visits plummet with the new algorithm if they don’t make the appropriate changes. Google stated during an I/O event that they were calling for “HTTPS everywhere” and have been taking strides in that direction. And in 2014, they confirmed that HTTPS was indeed a ranking signal. Additionally, an unsecured site will certainly indirectly affect the user experience, which does affect rankings. You can expect less people to visit your site, rendering it less valuable.
The Dangers of HTTP
The number of online security threats is skyrocketing, and it’s becoming even more important for businesses to protect their customers and users. By 2021, cyber crime damage costs are expected to hit $6 trillion. Many users don’t realize the dangers that HTTP pose. For example, if you were on a Wifi hotspot at a coffee shop, any decent hacker could tamper with the content of those HTTP pages. Being hit with a security breach isn’t just about compromising the information of your site visitors, but the integrity of your business.
Website owners can’t afford to be affected by another Google algorithm. By now, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to many major businesses who have known about the upcoming change for months. But not all webmasters keep up with algorithm trends. In this case, it’s better safe than sorry. On platforms like GoDaddy, many websites can get certified for around $70 annually.