Category

SEO

Will Google’s SSL Certificate Change Impact My Site Rankings?

By | Data Protection, Digital Marketing, Pixelent Digital, SEO

By Jen Lyttle, Digital Account Executive

Google is changing the way users view website security. As of July 2018 Google will flag websites without an SSL Certificate as unsafe on Chrome browsers. This update changes more than just how Google ranks websites on search. It impacts whether or not users view websites as safe.

Photo of locks on a fence meant to signify the security of an ssl certificate

But, what is an SSL Certificate?

SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. When installed on a web server, it activates the padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. Typically, SSL is used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins. Simply put – SSL certificates signify to a user that a website is safe to use because it is protecting private information.

a photo of a road meant to signify the direction users should plan to take with google's new ssl certificate requirements

How will Google’s Change Affect Me?

Google has been hinting that website security would be part of their algorithm considerations for some time but has produced nothing concrete until this year. Google owns the Chrome browser, which represents an estimated 58+% of the browser market and is increasing that share every year. This means Chrome users trust Google.

Google now alerts Chrome users when a site is not secure. This will affect a user’s choice when evaluating the safety of browsing a website – especially for new visitors. Would you continue onto a website you’ve never visited before if your trusted browser warned you it may be unsafe? Probably not. And it’s not a stretch to think that other browsers will follow suit after Chrome.

What Now?

In the age of data breaches and malware/ransomware attacks, applying an SSL has become an industry standard, and something that Google is pushing sites to adopt. We’d strongly recommend investing and applying a 2-year SSL to your domain as soon as possible. This will ensure that you don’t lose trust with first-time visitors or see any short-term losses in traffic.

Check Your SSL Certificate Here

Want to know more? Let’s chat!

Contact us here.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Went into Effect on May 25, 2018… Now What?

By | Data Protection, Digital Marketing, Display Advertising, Pixelent Digital, SEM, SEO, Social Media Marketing, Video Marketing

By Emily Drumm, Senior Paid Media Specialist

The European Parliament approved the GDPR in April 2016 with a compliance deadline of May 25, 2018. It has been called the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy[1].

This is all happening across the pond, so you might wonder what kind of impact this had around the world and in the US? An important note is that the scope of the GDPR has an extended jurisdiction that applies to all companies processing personal data of EU residents, no matter where the business is located. To track behavior or manage the data of a resident of Europe…the company must comply to the GDPR or face a fine of 4% of annual global turnover or 20 Million Euros (whichever is greater).

The GDPR was created to protect the consumer who has concerns related to personal data privacy and security. You may have already seen rumblings about the GDPR in headlines or noticed that Facebook added an alert to mobile users everywhere.

So…What is Personal Data?

Personal Data is any information related to a person that can be used to identify that person. This could be a name, picture, email address, bank information, social media or networking posts, or medical information. Important for marketers to note this also includes computer IP addresses, cookies, remarketing & device ID’s.

While it is important to residents and consumers in Europe to understand how their private online information is being used the GDPR has also left some businesses and marketers wondering how this will impact their businesses in the US? We have listed key directives of the GDPR for businesses and digital marketers to note:

  1. Consent – Personal Data cannot be used without customer consent. Consent must be actively given and cannot be implied.
  2. Data Rights
    1. Right to Access & Portability – Users have the right to access their data as being used by a company or data collector and can request an electronic copy of their personal data. They also have the right to know where it is being used and for what purpose. Users can transmit their collected that data to another data collector.
    2. Right to be Forgotten – Users can request to be forgotten or permanently erased at any time. This means data must stopped being passed and processed and any third parties must also stop processing the data.
    3. Record Keeping Requirements – Any entity that collects or processes personal data must have a safe a secure way of keeping that data. Failure to protect personal data can result in fines or penalties.
  3. Breach Notification – Notification of breach of personal data is required and must be given within 72 hours of first having become aware of the breach.

How can Businesses & Advertisers Comply with GDPR?

Advertisers that collect data on their own sites or apps are responsible for notifying users and obtaining consent for data collection. Examples of this data include pixels for remarketing or conversion ID’s and other cookies. If additional information is captured through advertising on other properties such as a search engine like Google then Google must request consent for their own data collection purposes. Below are a few other tips on how to ensure your business is GDPR compliant:

  1. Be Transparent by asking for consent for any data you collect on your users. This is especially important in marketing when collecting cookies, IP addresses or device ID’s.
  2. Employ Strong Data Security Policies and update them frequently.
  3. Give Users the Option to Opt-Out