Google studies show that visitors do not consider the absence of a “secure” icon as a warning, even though they absolutely should! Which is why Google is taking the extra step to warn Chrome users (Google's proprietary web browser used by more than 55% of internet users) when they're about to enter their sensitive information into a website that is not secure.
In 2014 Google said that if your website was HTTPS (i.e. included a valid SSL Certificate, which is identified by the green padlock in the browser address bar) it would boost the site's ranking in search engine results. This is a good thing for businesses who rely heavily on search engine traffic and are competing for position on search result pages.
At the time Google also said that they would not penalize websites that were not secure - this has since changed.
In September of last year, Google announced that in January 2017 they would begin displaying the security of the website's connection in the address bar of Chrome browsers (version 56 and up) for any web page that displays a password and/or credit card field. This was the beginning of a long-term plan to mark all HTTP pages as non-secure.
By the end of 2017, Chrome will take it one step further and not only include pages with contact forms (which we're already seeing), but will begin showing a more prominent warning message when on web pages that are not HTTPS as well.⠀
Get in touch for more information on how HTTPS and SSL affect your business, or to learn more about how to smoothly make the transition from HTTP to HTTPS on your website.