The Chrome Security Warnings Update, announced by Google on July 24, 2018 is the search giant’s latest attempt to make the web more secure for users. The algorithm update has been two years in the making. If you’ve kept up, you already know that Google alerted us back in September of 2016 that this change was coming—specifically, that it would start marking all non-encrypted sites as “not secure.”
As of July 24, 2018, all HTTP sites will be marked as “not secure” by Google.
Security has always been a priority for Google. The search engine refers to it as one of its “core principles,” so this particular Google algorithm update should come as a surprise to exactly no one. Put simply, Google knows users will feel more comfortable using the search engine if they know the information they enter is protected. In Google’s own words, the update “makes it easier to know whether your personal information is safe as it travels across the web, whether you’re checking your bank account or buying concert tickets.”
Google’s not wrong. Website security is more important than ever before. As people continue using the web for everything from paying bills to making Amazon and even local grocery store purchases, it’s crucial that they feel secure giving out their personal information online. Plain HTTP sites simply can’t provide that level of security.
The HTTPS label signifies that the website has an SSL—or Secure Sockets Layer— certificate. This means that data transmitted over the site is encrypted using powerful encryption technology designed to keep the information safe. It also means that the website can be tracked to an actual company that has disclosed its true name and website domain name publicly. In other words, it’s not shady.
When a website lacks an SSL certificate, Google will now alert the user that the site is not secure.
Google has already made it clear it prefers secure sites, so it shouldn’t shock you to learn that you’ll get a boosting rank when you make the switch to HTTPS. Google’s algorithm has included it since 2014, so it’s nothing new. However, with the new Chrome Security Warnings Update, users will be alerted if your site is unsecure. This could affect your bounce rate and eventually your SERP rank as well.
Plus, HTTPS sites load faster as well, which can have positive SEO results. See it for yourself.
An SSL certificate proves that a website is using SSL technology to encrypt data. Encryption is a process that scrambles information input on the site, making it completely indecipherable as it’s being transmitted. The information can only be unscrambled by a specific decryption key, so it’s only readable by the intended recipient.