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August 22, 2017

Google Issues Warning Over ‘Not Secure’ HTTP Pages

Earlier this month, Google issued a warning to webmasters of HTTP sites that feature forms, login fields or other types of input sections on their site, that Chrome will begin to mark their sites as ‘Not Secure’. Google sent email notifications via Google Search Console to the webmasters, with sites that have not made the switch over to HTTPS, and while this is not a new warning from Google (they first announced this back in May), this is likely to be Google’s final warning.

Google stated in their notification that at the beginning of October 2017, the Not Secure warning will appear when faced with two particular situations:

  • When users have to enter data on a HTTP page
  • All HTTP pages visited in Incognito mode

Courtesy of Search Engine Land – this is an example of what it will look like on Chrome 62 in October 2017 when users begin to fill out a form:

The only way to fix this problem is to make the switch to HTTPS, and there are a number of other benefits that having HTTPS can have for your website.

Benefits Of HTTPS

A huge number of sites over the past year have been making the switch from HTTP to the more secure HTTPS script. In February, a survey of the world’s top 1 million most visited websites showed that 20% of them supported HTTPS, which grew from 14% back in August – and this is continuing to grow every month.

The first and main benefit of HTTPS is the impact it will have on a site’s performance.  There is just a minor impact on the backend of a site, and this ultimately leads to HTTPS browsers loading faster when it is turned on. Encryption is not necessarily a requirement, but there is an opportunity for a major speed boost. This is beneficial in terms of SEO, as Google has previously indicated that site speed is a significant ranking signal. This is because it can have a huge impact on user experience (which is becoming more important with Google’s switch to mobile first indexing) and it can also impact search engines crawling your site – slower site speed means they can crawl fewer pages with their allocated crawl budget, which can negatively impact your site’s indexation.

Google’s website migration guide identifies a number of reasons to switch to HTTPS:

  • Encryption – you are able to encrypt exchanged data on a site, meaning no-one can listen to conversations, track activities or steal information
  • Data Integrity – data cannot be modified or corrupted without detection
  • Authentication – this can help to build user trust and proves that your user is using the website they intended to use

What Doesn’t HTTPS Secure A Website From

While there are a number of benefits to HTTPS and it is referred to as a security protocol, there are a number of things that your website may still be vulnerable to including:

  • SSL/TLS vulnerabilities
  • Website, network or server hacks
  • Software vulnerabilities
  • Brute force attacks
  • DDOS attacks
  • Downgrade attacks

Why You Need To Switch To HTTPS Properly

Switching to HTTPS can be a detailed and lengthy process, and you will need a specialist web developer in order to ensure that the switch is made properly. This is because there are a number of common problems that you may experience if the web development is not completed effectively, and these problems include:

  • Google being prevented from crawling the HTTP version if there is a failure on the test server to allow bots
  • Duplication issues with content on the HTTP and HTTPS versions of the site
  • Different versions of the page showing on both versions of the site.

If your website is not yet supporting this, then it is now time to make the move. For more information on making the switch to HTTPS, then make sure to get in touch with a member of our expert team online today. Call 01245 287 864 to get in touch with our web development team now!

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Author:

Ben Austin

With a solid background in the sales and finance industry, Ben was inspired by the possibilities of SEO after propelling his own website to search engine success. With a natural flair for digital marketing and a strong work ethic, his entrepreneurial streak soon took over, leading to the birth of Absolute Digital Media.

Naturally ambitious by nature, Ben didn’t stop here, instead pushing the business to new heights, offering a wider range of services to more and more clients. He is now proud to employ a number of SEO, PPC, web design, social media, copywriting and marketing professionals and is driven by all things digital marketing. His passion and persistence have led the company to multiple awards and accolades, such as the company being announced as in the Top 100 Independent Agencies in the UK by The Drum Independent Agencies Census and finalists of the UK Biddable Awards and RAR Digital Awards in 2017. When he’s not busy leading the company on new ventures, Ben enjoys spending time with his wife and children.


Email b.austin@absolutedigitalmedia.com

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