Google Security Warning Notices for HTTP Sites
Is your website secure?
Before we go on, let’s try to simplify this by explaining a few important terms you will need to know:
What is HTTP :
HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. HTTP is the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web and this protocol defines how messages and data are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands.
What is HTTPS:
HTTPS Stands for HyperText Transport Protocol Secure. HTTPS is the same thing as HTTP but uses a secure socket layer (SSL) for security purposes. Therefore, secure websites use the HTTPS protocol to encrypt the data being sent back and forth with SSL encryption.
What is SSL:
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private. To be able to create an SSL connection a web server requires an SSL Certificate.
So what’s happening now? Very soon Google Chrome (version 63) will show ‘Not Secure’ warnings on HTTP websites in three situations:
- When a user arrives at a HTTP site.
- When a user enters data (such as filling in a contact us form) on an HTTP page.
- When a user visits a HTTP website when using an Incognito mode.
In addition, Google will begin sending out notices to website owners that their sites will be tagged as “Not Secure” in Google Chrome beginning in October 2017!
So, what does this mean, what are the practical implications?
Firstly, will your website be affected?
Here are two important questions you need to answer:
- Does your site require visitors to input any text? This includes a user simply filling in a contact form, a request for more information form, or even a request for quote form etc.?
- Is your website using HTTP:// in the address bar? (i.e. http://www.yourwebsite.com.au)
If you answered “Yes” to both of those questions, you strongly need to consider implementing, an SSL certificate on your website to avoid it showing a “Not Secure” warning in a visitor’s web browser and potentially turning them away from your website!
A secure website is indicated on a web browser by a green address bar and the protocol prefix HTTPS as opposed to HTTP in the website’s URL, these are often found on a website that involves monetary transactions, however, https is the preferred web protocol for the future. In fact, all new websites regardless should be built on the HTTPS protocol. At Clark Marketing & Design this is now a standard inclusion for all new web design.
Whilst you may not have monetary transactions on your website, how might a visitor feel when, once they have gone searching for your products or services, found your website and then decided, yes, I will request a quote and starts to complete a request for quote online form, only to receive a “Not Secure” warning?
So, whilst this new preferred web protocol of https, is basically about making the web a safer place, what can an adding an SSL Certificate, and thus changing from HTTP to HTTPS do for your website and business?
Firstly, it simply makes your website more secure. Displaying the secure message on your site shows your customers your site is fully secured, building a trust connection. Having a secure site helps increase conversions by showing users that their details will be secure and the site is reputable.
Secondly, Search Engines including Google have stated from 2014 that having a secure site will become an important ranking factor and this will only increase in importance in 2017 and beyond. Having a secure site will not only help with your organic ranking efforts but will also have a positive impact on users on your site.
Thirdly, if you have an eCommerce website it qualifies you for accepting payments and helps ensure authentication.
Having a HTTPS site will be as important as having a mobile-friendly website over the coming years.
If you would like to find out more we can advise on HTTP to HTTPS conversions, as well as a range of web and SEO Services