Google Is Forcing Contractors To Have SSL Certificates On Their Websites

ssl certificate for contractor

Do you have a SSL certificate? Do you even know what that is?

As we discussed last week about Home Service Ads and how Google is monetizing most of the first page of search results, they are also making changes which make it better for the actual user. Google loves its users and is trying to create more security for its users, by changing not only the requirements for websites, but also including these requests into its own search algorithm.

In a nutshell what Google is looking for is a faster, secure, user-friendly website.

If anyone remembers Google’s ‘Mobilegeddon‘ back in April of 2015, when they started “requiring” websites to be mobile responsive in order to rank well in searches. then you may be familiar with Google’s new request. SSL Certificates.

For the past year or so, they have claimed that they would begin labeling HTTP (vs. https) connections as insecure. Though this has not happened yet, we are beginning to see this within their Chrome browser and it will appear within Google search results by the new year. The last thing you want is to have your site ranking and have a label of “Not Secure” next to it.

Google also announced that they will be using HTTPS and SSL as a ranking factor in their search results.

This means that using HTTPS and SSL will help improve your site’s SEO. We have started seeing this in results with our newer sites as well as client’s who have purchased an SSL certificate. There also have been studies done to prove that Google is now recognizing SSL as a valid ranking factor.

What is a SSL Certificate and HTTPS?

HTTPS, standing for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure, is the internet standard for secure communication via web browser. Whereas any data transferred by HTTP is open for anyone to see, HTTPS uses a security layer called SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. In order to create an SSL connection, a web server requires an SSL Certificate.

Since our usual contractor website does not collect users’ financial or personal information and all forms are actually built within its own security via iframes or javascript, they currently do not have an SSL certificate.

It was not until the past six months or so did we see the actual ranking issue, along with the threat of being labeled ‘NOT SECURE’ within search results, that all of our new client website launches do have the SSL certificate.

The way to find out if you currently have an SSL certificate is to look at the url of your website. If you currently see HTTPS instead of the usual HTTP, then your website is secure. If not, it would be imperative to contact your Footbridge Media account manager to work with you on setting it up.

This is not an easy process. Depending on if we host your site or not, there will be an annual cost for the certificate and it does take some time to migrate your entire site. If you notice that your website currently does not have an SSL certificate, please contact your Footbridge Media account manager today.

If you aren’t already a Footbridge Media client contact us today and get SSL Certified!


Aaron O’Hanlon is the CEO and Co-Founder of Footbridge Media, a digital marketing agency, specializing in the contracting industry. It is his mission to create awareness of marketing online to the home improvement industry and to educate, inform and assist contractors in taking over their own online presence.

  • Jody Bragg

    I would hope there isn’t a up charge for something that is common sense!

    • footbridgemedia

      In general – depending on the specific hosting platform a website is on, there can be a range as far as the hard cost to us when implementing SSL.

      For your situation in particular, we’ve made sure that your account manager has reached out to you about your specific website hosting situation and enabling SSL.

      Thanks for being a client of Footbridge Media!