Urgent Google Chrome Update Requires SSL Certificate

July 9, 2018
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Summer is officially here, and so is the Google Chrome 68 update. This update to the Google Chrome browser is especially important because it requires every website to have an SSL certificate, otherwise the site will be marked as “Not Secure”.

Back in October, we wrote a post about SSL certificates, breaking down exactly what they are and why businesses need them for their websites. For our own clients, whenever we audit their websites, one of the first things we ensure is that that site has an SSL certificate.

In this post, we’ll explain why it’s extremely important to make sure your site starts with “https”, and we’ll remind you of the steps you need to take to make it happen. Even if your site is already HTTPS, this blog post is worth a read to refresh your memory of the pertinence of this update.

Why Urgent Action Is Necessary

If your website is still missing its SSL certificate, please make it your top priority to acquire one. Since Google Chrome claims over 50% of the market share of web browsers, the majority of people searching the Internet will decide whether or not your website is secure and safe to browse based on Google’s determination. The longer you wait to shift to an HTTPS website, the more damaging it will be to your web traffic and SEO efforts.

Five months ago, Google announced that this renewed emphasis on shifting from HTTP to HTTPS would take place. As a result, developers have prioritized transitioning their HTTP websites to HTTPS, and programmers explain the importance of investing in an SSL certificate to people and companies building a new site.

One of Google’s main objectives with the Chrome 68 update is to establish that all HTTP sites are not secure. Google is on a mission to create a more secure global Internet, and this is one way they are honing in on that goal. You don’t want your business to suffer the consequences because you didn’t take the time to make the shift before it was too late.

Considering how much power Google has to either enhance or destroy a website’s online reputation, it’s wise to heed advice when it’s given. Most website owners understand the immense benefits of playing by Google’s rules (and unfortunately, many have experienced the penalties that result from breaking those rules).

What To Do Now

Thankfully, Google isn’t asking too much by mandating SSL certificates. Changing to HTTPS in 2018 is more straightforward and affordable than ever before. Plus, as Google has pointed out, it unlocks both performance improvements and new features that you would otherwise miss out on if you had a HTTP website.

To shift to an HTTP website the right way, you have to work with a trusted provider. The cost associated with acquiring an SSL depends on how soon you act. Unfortunately, if you waited years before you got the certificate, it will be considerably more expensive than if you had paid the price before launching your website. Nevertheless, you’re much better off paying a hefty price than being repeatedly penalized by Google.

7 Steps to Set Up Your SSL Certificate

Now that you know what you have to do, let’s go over the steps you need to take.

In the same way that you had to research and reflect on the best hosting provider/package for your website, you need to put some thought into your SSL provider. After all, every website has its own compliance requirements, they should choose their SSL certificate providers accordingly.

Browsing technology service comparison sites like Tech Radar can give you an idea of what’s out there and what can serve your needs for the best cost. Once you’ve chosen your SSL provider, ensure that Google can index your website properly.

Follow these 7 steps when considering which SSL certificate to obtain:

1) Choose a legitimate SSL provider.

2) Research and decide whether you need a single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate.

3) Only obtain SSL certificates issued by trusted Certificate Authorities.

4) Use the right 301 redirects to make sure you’re pointing users and search engines to the correct “https” pages.

5) Only use a web server that supports HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS).

6) Use protocol relative URLs to minimize the possibilities of serving 404 pages when a user lands on a URL loaded from a development environment.

7) Test your pages using tools like Qualys SSL/TLS.

To Wrap It Up…

HTTPS is the new security must-have.

Google bumped up SSL certificates on its priority list as a part of its effort to improve overall web security and privacy. Even if you’re not a website owner, it’s easy to see from a user perspective why this shift is beneficial in the long run. Since we rely on websites’ security for so many of our essential daily life transactions, it makes sense why Google is increasing the urgency with Chrome’s latest update.

The expense it might cost you to correct your mistake of not having an SSL certificate from the beginning of your site will pay off in the long run. You can rest assured that making the effort to go from HTTP to HTTPS as soon as humanly possible will prevent the damage of having your site labeled “Not Secure”.

Chainlink Can Help

If you want to make sure your SEO efforts are on the right track, our team here at Chainlink Relationship Marketing can help you. As SEO experts, we care about your business’s digital presence and want you to successfully implement an SSL certificate.

As a digital development agency, Chainlink has our clients’ best interest in mind at all times. We want your company to become an industry leader by enhancing your online credibility, web traffic, click-through rates, and ultimately sales conversions. Let us guide you and provide you with the tools you need to make sure your SEO is up-to-date and competitive.

Reach out to us to learn more about how we can help your business grow online. We’d love to chat and provide a free consultation. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for more exclusive tips and strategies, too.