Google Chrome to mark all HTTP sites as “Not secure”

12 February 2018
Padlock - SSL improves SEO

Twelve months comes around mighty fast - last February we reported that from January 2017 Google would begin displaying the security of the website's connection in the address bar of Chrome browsers for any web page that displays a password and/or credit card field - the beginning of a long-term plan to mark all HTTP pages as non-secure. Adding an SSL certificate to your website is also widely understood to be factored into Google's search algorithms thus becoming and SEO ranking signal.

Google has now taken things one step further, announcing this week that;

Beginning in July 2018 with the release of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure”.

So what does this mean and how will it affect you?

In effect Google are stating that they believe the future of the web is full adoption of HTTPS in order to move towards a more secure web by default. If your website does not have a valid SSL certificate, from July 2018 your users will be seeing 'Not secure' in their address bar;

HTTPS warning example

Given how sensitive users are about website security we suggest that having this warning over your site is going to have a significant impact on user confidence and is likely to be reflected in your site usage statistics pretty quickly. Additionally we expect that having taken this as the default setting we can see lack of adoption being reflected in a further negative concession to your search ranking within the Google sphere of influence.

It is worth noting that these changes currently apply only to users of the Google Chrome browser, however at time of writing Google Chrome accounts for 46.78% of the browser market in Australia with Safari trailing at 34.72% (source: Statcounter) and Firefox, IE and Edge etc included as also-rans at below 5%. It is unknown at this stage whether Apple will follow suit but with almost half of all users, no one can afford to ignore this development.

In response to earlier announcements was made https and we added the inclusion of an SSL certificate to all new maintenance plans taken out in 2017. We also advised clients to make the move to htps as soon as possible. Now that Google are bringing these wider changes to Chrome we consider the timing critical and advise all clients whose websites are not currently using an SSL certificate contact us immediately to rectify the situation.

If you need to order an SSL certificate or would like to discuss this or any other matters relating to your website, please do not hesitate to contact us on 07 3245 7776.

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