2 minute read

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity

Comply With This Google Rule

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Or Lose Business

Do you count on showing up in a Google search to gain customers? Does your website have a section where people can sign up for your mailing list or request a free consultation? What about a place for visitors to ask questions? Do you sell products or services online? If you

answered “yes” to any of these questions, your website needs a valid SSL certificate. If you don’t have one, Google’s protection code will mark your site as unsafe. This causes reduced rankings in search and lost site traffic which leads to lost business.

by Michelle Hummel

Google’s New Code

Starting in 2014, Google ranked sites that begin with “http” lower than those with “https.” Ask any experienced business owner, and they’ll tell you a higher Google ranking leads to increased sales. In 2017, Google started to highlight unsecure websites by denoting each “http” site with a ribbon warning in the address bar. While some savvy web surfers noticed the ribbon, they didn’t think too much about it unless they had to enter credit card information.

According to Security Week, 18.5 million websites are infected with malware, a virus that can allow hackers to steal personal information and ruin computers and mobile devices. With this epidemic, cybersecurity is now a common term even among casual web surfers – and Google is doing its part to protect its reliability and its customers’ personal information with the launch of Chrome 68.

What Should You Do?

Get an SSL certificate. The good news is they aren’t very expensive. But unless you’re proficient in coding, you should trust a professional to install your certificate.

Unsecure Notification

With the release of Chrome 68, the ribbon is a thing of the past. Users will now see a warning with your website where expired.badssl.com appears:

Not only will your search rankings take a huge hit, but depending on the web browser and experience level, your potential customers won’t be able to reach your site at all – especially mobile users. Considering 48 percent of buyers use mobile devices as the first point of contact to start their search, this is business you can’t afford to lose. Even advanced web surfers may choose to leave the site before entering once they see that message. However, website owners shouldn’t think Google is punishing them for not complying with new rules; they should realize that Google is rewarding those who are making the Internet safer against cybercriminals. It’s also a subtle hint to your future customers that your business is credible.

Michelle is the CEO and Founder of Web Strategy Plus, a full-service digital marketing agency, where her team of experts specializes in helping franchise owners develop websites, SEO and Social Media Strategies. A published author of three books in her series, “The Social Media Magnet: Everything You Need to Know to Attract Customers with Social Media.” She also holds a valuable Internet Marketing Degree and provides training to help individuals acquire Social Media Management Certification through Web Media University. Contact Michelle at info@michelleshummel.com.