Google and Secure Sites
Google are big believers in HTTPS and SSL - they've been focused on making the web 'more secure' for all of us for some time now. One way in which they do this is to prioritise secure web sites in their search results, and another is showing a site's security status in the address bar within their native browser, Chrome.
2017 will see Google continue this campaign with some significant new features. Early in the year, Chrome will start to display additional security warnings for specific pages on web sites that are not secure – so HTTP, not HTTPS. These warnings will be fairly stark, as shown, and as you can imagine, not the most reassuring sight for a visitor to your web site.
As time passes, Google have said that their criteria will gradually become stricter and the warnings will also be added to all non-secure pages - the aim is, by some point in 2017, to mark all HTTP sites as ‘non-secure’ with a red security indicator.
This is likely to have considerable impact. Google Chrome currently accounts for 47% of all UK web users, so these warnings are going to be seen by a lot of people. Equally, Google will continue to rank non-secure sites lower in their search results. And history has shown that what Google does, others follow, and we're likely to see a similar approach adopted by other browsers such as Safrari, Firefox and Internet Explorer.
Web site owners who have or do not move to SSL will suffer not just the effect on web traffic and performance, but there is a risk to jeopardising customer trust.
If your website does not yet have SSL / HTTPS, or you’d like to know more about how to make your website more secure – and therefore more favourable with Google – please get in touch.
Google’s official article about these changes is available on their blog.
You may also like to read my blog which explains what SSL and HTTPS really means.
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