IF YOUR BUSINESS HAS A WEBSITE AND YOU CARE ABOUT GOOGLE SEARCH, YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS. Yes, all caps!
I know this is the type of detailed techie info to which many of our clients are averse. But it’s key.
The main things to know are that we’ve got your back, we can take care of this, and it’s not going to cost you a lot. Good?
Extra good news…if you are one of our clients and your site is hosted by our partner, NeuronLinks, or our MPS server, the hard part is being done for you – FOR FREE! Thank you, Raj and John, for including this extra as part of your clients’ web hosting package.
And super good news…only businesses with credible websites will be making these updates. (If and when someone tells them about the issue.) By implementing these changes toot-sweet, you could get some google bounce while non-HTTPS sites will be penalized.
We’ll be reaching out to our clients, if we have not done so already, or, please contact John at email@example.com or 408 252-8664. Many of our clients have just asked us to “handle this” – we will certainly do so, and can quote for any time spent on site review and/or coding before we start if you wish.
Here’s the details (it will be easiest to understand if you use a desktop or laptop computer)…
(2018 update: The info below and the graphics are captured from the Chrome browser on a desktop on date blog was posted. All browsers have changed the way they display security info. Now, if you see an icon with a locked padlock, you can assume the web page is secure. If you see an icon displaying an exclamation point, an open padlock, a circled i, or the words, “not secure”, you do need to read further for the fix.)
Here’s a view of a secure site. (And some pretty photos of great hair to break up the tech details. You’re welcome.)
If you click to every page of the Halo site, you’ll see an icon of a locked padlock to the left of the domain name. It shows this is a secure site because it’s host is using SSL Certification* and it’s using the HTTPS secure website protocol.**
If your site shows a locked padlock icon on each page, you can stop reading – you’re good.
This is a big deal because soon Google will be flagging and penalizing any website that is not using SSL Certification for their websites—that is, if links don’t start with https://.
If each page of your site is not secure, browsers may show warnings that make it seem your site is not safe, especially when forms are displayed. And there will be a reduction in your website’s ranking in Google organic (non-paid-for) search results.
From here, two steps need be taken. 1) set up of SSL certification on your server and 2) review and coding of your site to set up HTTPS secure website protocol.
If your website is hosted by a company other than Neuronlinks or MPS, you’ll need to check whether your server is already supporting SSL. It’s easy to check, just type in “https://” followed by your domain name. You will immediately see the green lock if SSL has been set up (if you are on Chrome on a desktop/laptop.) If it has not you will see this message:
You’ll need to review each page of your site – not just your home page. Contact John if you’d like us to do this site review for you.
If you go to your website, in Chrome, and see this little icon it means that page is not secure and will be docked by Google soon. You’ll need to ask your web hosting company to switch your site to SSL. Good hosting companies should be offering this free of charge.
Once your site has SSL certification, the next step is to review your site for HTTP issues and make corrections. And then add code to move to HTTPS. Our charge for this work will vary depending upon how your site is coded, if you have separate blog, store, database, and/or mobile site, and how many pages on your site.
If you’d like help in updating your site, please contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 408 252-8664.
*SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. More info at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certificate_authority.
**HTTPS secure website protocol – “S” for secure. More info at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTPS.