Back in February 2018, the Chromium blog (Google) announced ‘A Secure Web Is Here To Stay’ – this was all part of Google advocating that websites should adopt HTTPS encryption rather than the standard http.
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is a range of letters at the start of your website address – you can see these in the address bar of your web browser, similar to the image featured at the header of this post.
HTTPS is a secure extension of HTTP – As we all know, security is of paramount importance on the internet, authentication is the motive behind the secure extension, only domain owners can authenticate it’s use. A https version of your website will protect privacy and integrity of data while in transit.
Google Chrome is an important consideration for any online brand, especially as it currently holds a 46.11% market share in the UK and seems to be growing in popularity (2018 Source: StatCounter via Statista).
Market Share of Web Browsers in the UK in 2018
By purchasing and installing an SSL certificate on a domain, a website is recognized as taking appropriate action in protecting information transferred over networks via encryption. This is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a web browser on your computer, mobile or tablet.
The changes in July 2018 are associated with the release of Chrome 68, Google will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure”. This will have an undoubted impact on website bounce rates or drop-offs if a site is not protected via HTTPS.
If your site isn’t ready next time Google’s bot visits then lower visibility in SERPS (search engine results pages) will likely follow.
Google’s goal is to secure the web by making it safer for all users. It is our understanding that Google does not necessarily admit that non-HTTPS encrypted sites are at a handicap in its infamous search algorithm although it is relatively safe to assume that a security warning on a website could lead to drastic fallout.
There is no doubt that customers prefer secure websites – so does Google. But it’s not just about Google, we should do everything we can to make sure our brands communications are protected online and always endeavour to minimise the threat of online attacks which could harm brand reputation.
Over the past year, Google has helped many site visitors understand that HTTP sites are not secure by marking a large number of sites “not secure”. You may have noticed this before while browsing the internet or even on your own site.
If you need help or advice on website security feel free to contact us.