Google certainly has a way for getting attention, and displaying your site pages as “Not Secure” in Chrome is just the latest example.
According to recent update notes, the Google Chrome browser will begin to flag certain site connections listed as HTTP rather than HTTPS as “Not Secure” in Chrome’s address bar. This warning will appear as red text whenever a site user begins to enter information into a text entry form, potentially scaring away visitors and shattering your marketing funnel.
Since “forms” can include everything from an email submission widget to an in-site search query, sites that put off the switch will likely see the “Not Secure” flag come up more and more often. In addition, people using Chrome’s “incognito” mode will see the flag on all pages that don’t use HTTPS, regardless of whether or not text is being entered.
Adding insult to injury, Google has been steadily boosting the SERPs ranking for domains that use HTTPS instead of HTTP across the board.
Learn more about what the switch from HTTP to HTTPS means and how it can affect your site by reading on.
What Is the Difference Between HTTP and HTTPS?
The HTTP protocol is the standard method of sending and receiving information across the web. HTTPS does the exact same thing, but the “S” stands for “secure,” since the information will be encrypted.
What does “encrypted” mean, exactly? You could fill a whole college-level computer science course on the topic, but the gist is that encrypted data cannot be read by malicious parties if they intercept it. First, they have to decode the data, which can be near-impossible without some significant computing power.
Why Does Using HTTPS Benefit My Website?
Google’s Chrome browser first began alerting website users about unencrypted HTTP transfers when people were clearly entering payment information into ecommerce sites. Since no one wants their debit card number broadcasted across the web, giving people a head’s up made sense.
Now, however, Chrome is getting a bit hyperactive about the whole affair. As consumer privacy issues become more relevant with each passing day — and something Google themselves has caught flack for — even something as innocent as a keyword search within a site becomes sensitive information.
Using HTTPS serves as a signal that you care about site visitors’ privacy and want to protect them from anyone listening in. Domains certified as HTTPS can exude more authority and build trust with their visitors.
Since Google Chrome is installed in over 58 percent of all connected devices (making it the most popular browser of all time), scaring away Chrome users would be decidedly bad for business. Additionally, the fact that more-trusted sites with higher authority tend to rank better on SEO means that ignoring the browser warning could also impact web traffic.
Want to make the switch? Search Engine Land posted a useful reference guide for moving from HTTP to HTTPS.
If all this technical mumbo-jumbo simply isn’t something you want to deal with, EverSpark Interactive is here to help. We provide website development services in addition to comprehensive SEO audits that ensure your site is doing everything it can to rank high against competitors. Contact us today to get started.