Beginning in July, Non-Secure Notices Will be Shown to All Chrome Users on HTTP Webpages
This February, Google confirmed that they will continue their advocacy for a more secure web, and will mark all HTTP webpages as “Not Secure” for all Chrome users when they arrive at the page within their browser. According to StatCounter GlobalStats, Google Chrome surpassed 50% of the US browser market share in January. This means a significant portion of visitors are likely to experience the updated display during their time on your website.
But what does this mean for your business? What will be different? How can you tell if your site will be affected? Most importantly, what options are available to address the update for your site?
What is the change?
With the release of Chrome version 68 in July, Google will display a “NOT SECURE” message within the User Interface to everyone that arrives on an HTTP webpage. This further expands actions that rolled out in October with Chrome version 62. It added a “NOT SECURE” display when users completed text data entry on an HTTP page, as well as all HTTP pages in Incognito mode.Is there an SEO impact?
Similar to the October update, there is no anticipated direct impact to organic rankings and visibility. The only expected change is the display that Chrome users will see in their browser bar when visiting HTTP pages (regardless of their actions on that page). The impact on user experience could be negative if feelings of distrust become more pronounced on HTTP pages along with a more direct and widespread display of the warning.
The SEO team at Response Mine highly encourages you to proactively update to an HTTPS page. By doing so you can avoid the potential negative impacts while reaping the rewards of an HTTPS webpage.
What is the recommended action to avoid this warning?
As before, Google’s explicit recommendation to avoid these warnings from appearing for Chrome users is to fully migrate to HTTPS. Other benefits of HTTPS may include:
- Increased visibility: Though the observed impact to rankings has been minimal, Google has stated that they now use HTTPS as a positive rankings signal. They have indicated intentions to make this a stronger signal in the future.
- Stronger security: HTTPS encrypts all communication and ensures that third parties cannot hijack the connection through a “man-in-the-middle” attack.
- Improved credibility: Apart from avoiding a “Not Secure” warning, HTTPS migration results in a visible “Secure” label in most browsers that can help build consumer confidence in their website experience.
Will your website be affected?
If your website has been fully migrated to HTTPS, this change will not affect you. You’re good to go! But if your website still has HTTP pages, your Chrome users will experience this change.
Check Google Search Console to see if you have received any messages regarding how this change will impact your website, or contact Response Mine for an evaluation and to assist with protecting your Organic Channel performance during a transition to HTTPS.