We’re seeing a number of emails coming in from Google Webmaster Tools users explaining that there’s an issue with their SSL certificate.
The subject line reads like this: [Webmaster Tools] Site host name, https://www.yourdomain.com, does not match your SSL certificate Subject Name
It looks like what’s happening, is Google is trying to crawl the site over https, and when it isn’t able to do so, it generates this error message. For example, if you were to try and visit one of these sites over https in the Chrome web browser, you’d get a warning similar to this one.
Up to this point we’ve only seen the issue reported by sites hosted on WP Engine.
Now the question is, is this SSL warning something that you need to worry about or fix as a website owner?
Right now there’s really nothing to worry about unless you actually want people using your site with https, which would include things like having a shopping cart on your site, or a membership portal where information you want to keep private is saved or exchanged. For the majority of website owners, this isn’t anything that needs any immediate attention.
It could, however, be an indication of changes that are coming down the pipeline. The fact that Google is paying this much attention to the https protocol could mean that they eventually end up requiring, or rewarding websites that are using the https protocol properly, and let users choose whether they browse over a secure connection or not.
Yoast recently converted his site to use SSL throughout the site, so all visitors will browse the site securely, so it’s definitely a trend that will continue to become more popular as security and privacy become bigger concerns on the web.
We’ll continue to update this post as we gather more details.