Oops! Google’s SSL Certificate Throwing Out Scary Warnings

Everyone is noticing that when they go to their Google Account through AdWords, AdSense, Analytics, or any Google page that requires SSL, they are being prompted with a security warning. Typically, its not a major deal, right?

Well, not if you are trying to get customers to buy on your site. As Tim Gross explains, if you are using Google Checkout on your site, this is having a major impact. Not only that, if you are using the conversion tracking scripts for AdWords and your potential buyer clicked on your ad, they may be prompted with a security warning and leave your site. There goes your sale, and you paid for that.

Here is a screen shot of the security warning on Safari. You will get a similar one on any other browser:

Google Secure Cert Expired

This happens way too often, simply because it is an easy thing to forget. Late January, Yahoo forgot to renew their SSL certificate for the publisher network.

Tim Gross’s screenshot shows a similar expiration date issue that is impacting the www.googleadservices.com URL.

Aside from that, our screenshot above shows a different error, because the certificate is for a slightly different domain than what it was issued for (see comments below for more about this; initially we wrote it was solely an expiration issue).

Postscript: Google updates us that this was an issue between 9am and 2pm (PST) time, where “some web pages containing the AdWords Conversion Tracking code snippet presented visitors with a browser message indicating a Google server certificate had expired.” Google also adds that the conversion tracking numbers may have been underreported. You may want to call your Google AdWords representative if you use conversion tracking and see if some type of discount will be applied to your account for possibly wasted clicks.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: Security


About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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