As most technology companies, you can count on them to change just about as often as you change your underwear. Well, Google is no different. Since they launched in 1998, Google has made many changes, how we search the internet, how your website is indexed to how pages are ranked. But the most important change, came this year, January 2017.
What changed with Google in 2017?
Starting January 2017 Google started labeling non-https websites as not secure. What does non-secure mean. In previous years, not too long ago, the only websites that were labeled as secure were things such as banks and e-commerce websites. You would see 2 things. https as the beginning of the url and you would usually see a green lock. This would let you know that your information was secure when you were banking or shopping.
When I first started building my website i didn’t worry about whether my site said http or https. I didn’t worry about this because I wasn’t selling anything and I didn’t have a login page. This is still true today. The information that I perpetuate out onto the World Wide Web is for everyone. But as I am learning not everyone is a friend. Prior to implementing https my website was getting infiltrated a lot. This was frustrating because I didn’t want to loose readers, I didn’t want Google to stop indexing my website and I didn’t want to have my ranking tank. All of this happened.
I didn’t understand how bad the impact would be until the day I started seeing “not-secure” in my address bar. And like I normally do, I started my research. I knew Google was going to start making these changes, but I didn’t know when. So, I dusted myself off, I had the help of a brilliant friend and I made the change. I also helped others make the change to their websites. The data on my website now is encrypted. I can encourage my audience to start reading again and in time Google will start indexing my pages more regularly and in turn my ranking will start heading back up. I was able to do this by purchasing an SSL Certificate.
What is an SSL Certificate?
SSL stand for Single Socket Layer. It provides three ways to communicate information safely
- Encryption: Encrypting the transferred data for security
- Data Integrity: Data cannot be altered or corrupted during transmission
- Authentication: Users are authenticated to communicate with the website
What steps can you take to make your website secure?
- Host with a dedicated IP address. In order to provide the best security, SSL certificates require your website to have its own dedicated IP address.
- Buy a Certificate. (there are free ones out there)
- Activate the certificate
- Install the certificate
- Update your site to use HTTPS (this maybe done automatically)
I realise these steps are vague, but this is intentional as how you go about implementing these steps may vary slightly based on your hosting company and where you purchase your SSL Certificate.
Below are some useful links and more information about SSL and HTTPS
Contact Us if you have any questions or concerns. We are more than happy to get you pointed in the right direction.