Google Wants Your Website to Be Secure — Here’s Why (And How)
Is your website secure?
If not, we need to talk — err, you need to read.
In October 2019, Google announced a straightforward message about secure and non-secure websites. Most websites today are set up to protect their website browsers, especially if they allow the inputting of personal information (such as credit cards). For sites that do not protect their browsers, Google is moving to block their content over the next several months unless they take action.
We’ll explain the steps you can take to ensure your website is compliant and secure for all website browsers.
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What Google’s Protocol Secure Announcement Means for You
You can read the whole announcement on Google’s security blog. We’ll break it down here, so you clearly understand what impact this update could make on your automotive digital marketing.
First, check to see if your website is secure. The easiest way to do so is to look to the left of your website URL. If you see a lock (🔒) to the left, that means your website is protected, and you’re compliant with Google’s changes. Another clue that your site is secure is if it starts with HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure).
If you see a “Not Secure” notice to the left of your website name, or if your website URL begins with HTTP and not HTTPS, you’ve got some changes to make to be in compliance with Google.
Also, check any subdomains your website hosts to ensure they are also secure. This is where many website managers fail to look and could be dinged. Look at your blogging site (if it’s not hosted on your own domain) as well as any mobile sites built separately from your main website.
When Will These Google Updates Roll Out?
This change will happen on Chrome website browsers. So if you are one of the 30% of the world population who doesn’t use Chrome, you won’t have to worry about this yet — but it is coming. The first change will happen in December 2019, when Chrome updates to version 79.
It will take several months and version releases for this change to fully take effect, but it should be done by February 2020. If your website remains on a non-secure site, Google will start to block your content over time. This will mostly affect sub-resources (such as subdomains) but can eventually affect whole websites.
We’re hoping that if you are reading this, your website is actually secure, like 90% of the websites on which people spend time.
How to Make Your Website Secure
Each website provider is different, so we won’t share one foolproof method for making sure your website is updated to a secure protocol. If you work with an automotive website provider, a simple call to your representative can initiate the work to be done. If they aren’t willing to work with you, we strongly suggest you find a new automotive website provider.
If your website or perhaps your automotive blog runs off on WordPress, you can download this WordPress plugin for free. This plugin works to fix any non-secure content and make it secure.
You can also enable secure protocol with Google Developer help if you are good at coding. This is a little more difficult, so you should understand website coding well before taking this route.
Benefits of Secure Websites
First off, if you are taking any personal information from web viewers, your website should be secure. This not only protects you from an information breach but also gives your visitors a sense of security, knowing their information is encrypted. Any time a credit card is accepted on a website, you must have secure site encryption based on security standards from the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.
A secure website means your data is coded and encrypted, so a hacker isn’t able to just walk in the back door and take all your valuables (figuratively speaking).
And now, Google will start penalizing websites that are not secure. So, having a website in compliance can actually help out your search result rankings. It’s not a myth; it’s a fact!
Keep Your Website Secure!
There are so many reasons your website can rank low or high in search results. Having a secure website is one of them . . . but what about all of the other ways?
If your website needs help standing out from every other automotive website out there, feel free to chat with us about our search engine optimization services.