Will Google Pin A Scarlet Letter on Your Website This Month?

Ahh … Summertime, warm air, soft sand beaches, mountain high hikes, BBQ, tan lines, and Google forcing your website traffic numbers to drop, faster than a rolling hotdog off your backyard grill. Wait … What? Google, making my traffic drop?

Oh yes, my friend! July is here and Google’s “loose” deadline for forcing a “more secure Internet” is upon us. Google has started to visibly warn searchers that a website may not be entirely secure AND more importantly, started to punish websites that are not secure by burying them below sites that are secure.

Have you seen this?

Non-Secure website

This is what it should look like:

Secure website

Basically, if your website URL does not begin with https:// Google will pin it with a proverbial scarlet letter, warning visitors to steer clear. The warning is there now, indicated by a subtle padlock in either the locked (secure) or unlocked (security risk) position, but Google is threatening a much more ominous warning starting in July 2018.

Read the full notice with all of the boring contexts from Google here.

In lay terms, the HTTP at the beginning of your web address (URL) stands for Hypertext, Transfer, Protocol.  When you add an “s” at the end, you get the secure socket version. ChartLocal or any reputable web development company can give you more information about adding a security certificate to your website and fix this problem in short order. In fact, ChartLocal can do it rather inexpensively right now.

You may be able to do it yourself if you are comfortable managing your hosting account because you can purchase the SSL certificate directly and set it up yourself.  

However, the tricky part (and why most business owners hire a professional) is that once you have installed your new security certificate, you will still need to create a series of 301 redirects from the NON-secure domain to the Secure Site (from HTTP:// to the HTTPS:// version).

Then, even if you are able to get all your 301 redirects in place, you will still need to check for mixed content errors because every mixed content error MUST be corrected for the site to be considered secure.

Mixed content errors are pieces of code that refer to something on the web that is NOT secure, so for your website to be totally Google-approved secure, every single page (and every URL used) must be on HTTPS. This is the part of converting your site to https that truthfully is best left to a professional web developer.

Here at ChartLocal, we just want to make sure there is no confusion about the impending deadline and bring awareness to any business owner that does not want traffic dropping like a brick or a big Scarlet Letter pinned to their site this month.

Need more information or would like to schedule a complimentary website analysis by a ChartLocal specialist? Call us at 888-826-8060 or drop an email to Sales@ChartLocal.com and a manager will respond faster than that rolling hotdog off your grill.