Unsecured IDX Plugins Invalidate SSL Secure Websites, Are You Secure?

Real Estate Technology with Buying Buddy

Google first called for SSL everywhere on the web in 2014, since then, many Agents have taken action to make their websites secure. However, some had a startling wake-up call on February 1st this year, when they found their HTTPS website marked as non-secure. So what happened?

unsecure websiteThe answer- Google began (as of Feb 1, 2016) marking sites which collect sensitive information as unsecured unless they are fully HTTPS secure. Your website is not considered secure by Google and others unless all the parts (including plugins) are secure, and will be marked as such. Real Estate websites were particularly affected by this because a lot of content can come from 3rd parties - especially your IDX plugin.

You should make the change to a secure IDX plugin now if your IDX plugin is not secure and your provider does not support SSL (Secure Socket Layer, the certificate that provides the security layer). If you are collecting sensitive information, particularly passwords, and you are not SSL secure, your website Visitors will see an alert from Chrome or Firefox that your website is unsecured. In the near future, that alert will extend to all pages with contact forms.

Currently, visitors are alerted with a small unassuming message. However, the plan is to increase the visibility of all HTTP sites with a red triangle.  This increased prominence will further identify unsecured sites. This is not good news for business.  Not too many people are willing to fill in a form (i.e. “sign up”!) on a website that is marked as “not secure”.

In addition to this, SSL certification can affect your search rankings (SEO). Along with the alerts served up when you’re not HTTPS encrypted, Google announced (beginning in 2014) they would start assigning a ranking signal for HTTPS/SSL within their search algorithms.   At that time, the ranking signal was lightweight, but its weight has increased over time.

Carrot and StickSince the added weight was not enough to encourage the switch to HTTPS, Google is now considering the use of the punitive stick in conjunction with the incentivizing carrot.  What does that mean?  They want to use this strategy to force the issue.  By implementing SSL on your website, you stand to be rewarded with higher SEO rankings, but if you don’t make the move you may see Google penalize your ranking score.

For the Real Estate industry, this is really important. With the latest trends in Real Estate marketing moving towards hyperlocal marketing, most Realtors® depend on high search ranking visibility in their local markets (you can read more about hyperlocal marketing in the Real Estate market here). So the moral of this story is, if your website in not HTTPS secure or even if your website is secure but your IDX isn’t, now is the time to switch to a secure IDX provider like My Buying Buddy®.

Since 2016, the Buying Buddy IDX CRM plugin has fully supported SSL. Contact us if you need help with a secure IDX plugin or have questions about what it means to have a secure IDX plugin.

Posted by

Paul Eastwood
Buying Buddy IDX CRM

With the Buying Buddy IDX CRM suite, you are in control! The suite integrates marketing, Lead Capture, and Lead / Client Management all in your website, wherever it is hosted and whatever technology you use.

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