Dealers whose websites go without SSL certificates will have their rankings penalised by Google, Dragon2000 has warned.
Going forward, SSL certificated websites will be favoured above those without them in Google searches, so car dealers’ website rankings could well suffer.
Google’s eventual plan is to show a red warning triangle, so visitors are clearly warned about sites that are not secure.
There will be a high chance that visitors will leave an unsecured site, and this could result in dealers losing online enquiries.
Websites with an SSL certificate have an encrypted connection with the visitor’s browser, a padlock symbol is displayed and the address bar will show ‘https’ in front of the website address.
Without one, the website address will start with ‘http’ instead, and the lack of ‘s’ makes the browser see the site as not secure, leaving information sent along it, such as credit card details and personal information, potentially at risk of being intercepted and viewed or modified.
Dragon2000’s commercial manager Mark Kelland (pictured) said: “The recent ransomware cyber attacks have made consumers more aware of the risks of visiting unsecured websites.
“It is becoming increasingly important for dealers to prove that the connection between the visitor’s browser and their website is secure and the data that customers send to the dealer’s website, such as enquiry details and their email addresses, are safe, which is where an SSL certificate comes in.
“Consumers need to see that dealers are taking security seriously, or they will simply give the website a miss.
“Dealers who are able to address concerns about safety will win business over dealers that do not reassure customers. We have recently introduced SSL certificates to all our dealer websites as standard, at no extra charge to customers.”