At the end of January, 2017, Google will be releasing version 56 of their popular Chrome browser – currently one of the most used browsers used for surfing the Internet today. But unknown to many website owners, there is a significant change in how Chrome will display the most common small business websites. Many of these sites do NOT have an SSL (Secure Server Layer) certificate. 

Any Website NOT running HTTPS (meaning they are encrypted with the use of a SSL certificate), will have a message appear in the location bar thats the site viewed is NOT secure on any page that collects passwords or credit cards. This is ONLY THE FIRST STEP in Google’s staged rollout of a program that encourages all website to install encryption to protect consumers.

The final  stage in this rollout, will be that Google Chrome will label ALL websites without an SSL certificate with a red warning label – as “NON-SECURE”.

If small business owners with standard non-secure sites do not take the proactive effort of adding an SSL certificate to their site before the end of January 2017, they will be running the risk of their viewing customers thinking that their business website is no longer safe, and has become compromised – resulting in lost visitors, or incomplete communications and/or purchases.

Google has also admitted that sites with an SSL certificate DO RECEIVE A SEO BENEFIT as well, when being scored by their search engine algorithm, and Bing has also followed suit, stating that secure sites will score better and have an advantage when ranking.

If you are hosting with us at Rook Interactive, the process of adding an SSL certificate is relatively easy. The cost for a standard commercial SSL certificate is only $159 a year – and this provides 2048 bit encryption for both the site and its emails. It also provides a $250,ooo relying party warranty, and provides your customers with a sense of trust and safety. If you would like to add this to your site,  please contact us today, and we will be happy to help you prepare for this coming change.