Google’s New Safety Requirements: What You Need to Do

Big Problem: Changes in security protocols could mean your website is flagged by Google as “unsafe.”

Easy Solution: Have Site Hub update your security certificate.

 

As part of their efforts to make the web safer for their users, Google has tried to encourage websites to get digital certificates. These digital certificates, also known as SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificates, ensure that the information a website sends and receives is safely encrypted.

Using their massive influence rather than regulations, Google has set a new standard for basic websites. From now on, if you don’t have a digital certificate, it could affect your search engine rankings and perceived reliability.

 

Overview

Recently, changes in European Union laws have heightened privacy requirements for information collection online. In response, Google is updating the way it vets websites. If your website isn’t secured with an SSL Certificate, a warning will appear when people visit your site. This warning could scare away visitors and potential customers. The good news is the solution is immediate, cost-efficient, and it helps better secure your site!

 

What is the GDPR

In response to catastrophic data breaches over the past few years, the European Union has decided to simplify their data protection rules. As part of this effort, it requires any website that collects personal information to be clear and transparent about their data collection practices.

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) only applies to websites that collect information from European citizens. However, many of the protections included in it are being adopted as basic standards by American companies.

Google is encouraging the shift to more privacy on the web by taking the new regulations a step further. They are pushing for websites to encrypt the data they transmit as a standard practice. That’s why SSL Certification is has become so crucial for big companies and small businesses alike.

 

SSL Certification

If you look at the address bar of your internet browser, you will see the letters “http” at the beginning of any website. If that “http” is followed by an “s,” it indicates that the website is secure. This means that you have an SSL Certification.

If it just says http without the “s,” the word “insecure” will appear next to the web address. This sends a bad signal to visitors and may scare away potential visitors and customers.

 

What makes a website secure?

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security measure that ensures that all information transmitted on your website is encrypted.

When information is not encrypted, third parties may be able to view and collect it. SSL encryptions are good for you and your customers. It keeps everything private and protected.

 

New Google Policy

Because Google leads the search engine industry, whatever they do has repercussions in every part of the digital world. Several years ago, Google instituted a rating boost for sites that were secured.

Now, it’s more important than ever to get your site secured. If you don’t, as part of the most recent update with Google Chrome, Google will label your site as “insecure.” This is bad news.  If a potential visitor sees that your site has this scarlet letter, they might want to click away.

 

How It Affects You

SSL certification is good to have for a number of reasons.

First, the most obvious advantage is that it keeps information private. That protects your customers’ information, but it also makes your own information more secure. You don’t have to worry about the hacks and leaks that are happening more and more frequently.

Second, it will instill more confidence in your website’s visitors. Having a secure site is the new gold standard. You don’t want to be behind the curve when it comes to online safety.

Finally, it will provide a boost to your Google rankings. If you leave your website unsecured, it will appear lower in search engine results. That means that potential customers are less likely to find your business. In a business atmosphere where search engine rankings are so important, it also lowers your credibility.

 

What Should You Do Now?

SSL Certificates are easy to get and very affordable. Digital marketing firms like Site Hub install them every day.

This is one of those shifts in tech that will, eventually, become standard for every business. Now, thanks to Google, that day has come early.

Get your site looked at for free and if you need an SSL Certificate installed, mention this article for extra savings.

@sitehub

Dr. Laura Sikes About the author

Laura Sikes is the resident copywriter and copy editor at Site Hub. She has a doctorate in American history from the University of Rochester. Born and raised in Louisiana, she now proudly calls Rochester home. In addition to her academic work, she has edited and published a number of historical works, including Holocaust survivor memoirs and Yiddish poetry translations. Laura appeared on Jeopardy! in 2012. She enjoys the encouraging, creative atmosphere at Site Hub and relishes the opportunity to work on a wide variety of exciting projects.

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