SSL certificates used to be mandatory for ecommerce websites or other websites that collected sensitive information. Now, thanks to Google, SSL certificates have become necessary for ALL websites. You may be thinking: why would they do that? Let me explain.
For several years, Google’s initiative has been to make the internet safer. If you use any Google products, like Gmail, you’ll notice that they all implement SSL. In 2014, Google took this initiative further by starting to use SSL as a ranking factor in search results. Translation: if your website does not have an SSL, your ranking in search results can be negatively impacted.
In 2017, Google went a step further and started flagging all non-https websites as insecure. You know that i in a circle that Chrome puts in the browser bar? If you click on it, you set this message:
Your connection to this site is not secure
You should not enter any sensitive information on this site (for example, passwords or credit cards), because it could be stolen by attackers.
Is this a message that you want your site visitors to see?
So, if you want to optimize your website’s Google ranking and provide assurance to your site visitors, an SSL is a no-brainer. Fortunately, SSLs are easy to obtain at many price points from many sources. There is a difference in the various SSL levels that are available, so do some research for what is best for your website (and budget). Some web hosting plans even include a free SSL for the first year with their plans. There’s no excuse not to get an SSL for your website. You’ll feel more confident about your site once you get the SSL box checked.