The Clock is Ticking for HTTPS

If your website contains any pages where users can input data, Google is now giving you just two more months to make these pages secure with HTTPS before they slap a ‘not secure’ warning on these pages in Google Chrome. Not only will this give users finding your site a bit of a scare, risking them not wanting to use your website at all, but it will also continue to have a negative impact on how well your website ranks on search engines. 

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS is now considered the standard for websites when it comes to online security – designed to ensure data integrity and make sure that website traffic is encrypted. 

Users now rely on seeing that small padlock by a website URL when providing any kind of personal details online. The padlock represents to the user that the website they are visiting is authentic and that their connection is secure. 

Google & HTTPS

It was back in 2014 when Google began highlighting HTTPS as a consideration. They introduced it as a light ranking signal and called for HTTPS everywhere on the web. Fast forward to now and Google has continued along this path however they have dropped the nicey nicey approach and have started taking significant action against websites that haven’t made the move. 

At the end of 2016 Google marked 2017 as ‘the year of HTTPS’ by announcing that they would spend the year gradually marking HTTP pages as non-secure. This started in January with a ‘Not Secure’ message appearing on all HTTP pages which requested login or credit card fields. 

Their next proposed step, as we mentioned in our introduction, is for the ‘not secure’ warning to be displayed on any HTTP pages which allow the user to input data. This will include any pages which contain a search box. This is due for release within Chrome on October 24th with Firefox expected to follow suit in the immediate future. 

Google's Plans for the Future

It may come as no surprise to you that Google will eventually be labelling all HTTP pages as insecure. When that time comes, the label will be clearly displayed in red informing the user that the page they are visiting is ‘Not Secure’. 

Taking Action

With the clock ticking away at rapid speeds, the time has come for many website owners to take action on HTTPS in a bid to avoid being labelled ‘non secure’. This can be achieved relatively quickly by obtaining and implementing an SSL / TSL certificate for your website. These can be purchased directly or via your digital agency who can then migrate your website to HTTPS for you. 

HTTPS Migration Checklist

Moving your website over from HTTP to HTTPS can be a complex procedure. Make sure you consider these crucial elements when migrating:

  • Be sure that your server supports HTTPS
  • Make sure you implement 301 redirects from URLs on your current website to their new HTTPS addresses
  • Update your URL in Google Search Console and Google Analytics to ensure they continue working as expected
  • Consider the impact of the migration on any SEO work you have been doing – if in doubt, get a digital agency offering SEO services to help you go secure without any hiccups or downtime in rankings