Businesses: Prepare for Google Chrome’s HTTPS Update

Later this month, Google Chrome (version 62) will show a warning to visitors of your website if you don’t serve your webpages in an HTTPS mode, a move likely to put people off entering any information into your site.

Here’s why it’s critical to make your website secure ASAP in order to convert potential customers and rank well for SEO:

Google Chrome to mark ‘not secure’ sites

Google Chrome has announced it will now mark all HTTP sites that have any input sections as ‘not secure’.

Emily Schechter, of the Chrome Security Team, highlighted the changes in a recent update:

“Chrome [already] marks HTTP pages as “Not secure” if they have password or credit card fields. Beginning in October 2017, Chrome will show the “Not secure” warning in two additional situations: when users enter data on an HTTP page, and on all HTTP pages visited in Incognito mode.”

The phrase ‘not secure’ will appear in the address bar if a user starts to fill in any type of form on the website, and a pop up will be shown with the following warning:

This is big news if your website asks people to log in, or enter any personal details as the warning is deliberately worded to scare them into avoiding such actions. It will even be shown when users enter text into a search bar, to indicate data being exchanged via an unencrypted connection.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS encrypts data that is sent when filling in a form. Take logging into a website for example, if you were to do this on an HTTP website, it would be sent as normal text, and your details are at risk of being intercepted. With HTTPS, this data would be encrypted, so no one would be able to intercept it.

On an HTTPS site, the visitor will see a green padlock in the browser bar (shown below), which they can click on to see who issued the SSL Certificate, this secures your login procedure, personal data and which sites you visit, providing your visitors with peace of mind.

Whilst many online users are concerned with keeping their passwords and bank details secure, some don’t give any thought to how other types of data, such as personal information, can be accessed. Over the past year, Google has made a number of changes to ensure users know whether the websites they are using are secure, and this new update will be a big change in what has so far been a gradual process.

Will https improve SEO?

Google’s search algorithm will not change as far as we currently know, but we have seen significant gains on some sites when https has been put in place.

Athough this change will only affect those visiting the site using the Chrome browser, it is now vital that business owners update their website to HTTPS, as other web browsers are likely to follow suit.

Podium is a full-service search marketing company and can help you with all your SEO and web content needs. We’ve already migrated our clients’ sites to HTTPS, and recommend all businesses do so.

If you’re concerned your website may not be performing well in search engines, give us a call on 0191 233 6397, or email for a no obligation chat with our friendly team.