Google has been making waves recently by sending the following messages to Webmasters’ inboxes:
This particular message is of note because it signals a major change in how Google and their browser, Chrome, will handle online security. Google is now requiring that any site that prompts users to fill out text in a form on their site have a Secure Socket Layer (SSL). If sites do not comply, users will see a “NOT SECURE” warning when visiting the site.
In January, Google notified sites that take payment or credit card information that they will need to have an updated SSL. This new message is the second step to potentially punish sites that do not follow security recommendations and will go after sites that collect information as basic as an email address. The third and final step is just to flag all sites and the rumor is that will happen in 2018.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Essentially, Google is requiring webmasters make their sites more secure by upgrading their domains from HTTP to HTTPS. This extra security establishes an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. If you’re a Rebuild Group client, don’t worry—we have already begun transferring all of our managed sites to HTTPS. The new message from Google is letting everyone know now that all sites will need an SSL.
WILL USERS STILL BE ABLE TO USE MY SITE WITHOUT HTTPS?
Users will still be able to access your site if you haven’t migrated it HTTPS, but user will see the following notification in their browsers:
This message will pop up when a user attempts to use a web contact form or chat box on an insecure website, potentially scaring them away from the site. This will more than likely cause users to bounce from your site, abandoning any conversions that may have occurred while also increasing bounce rate and decreasing time on site.
Browsers other than Chrome—Safari, Firefox, et al.—have been making the same changes, so these warnings will likely not only appear to Chrome users. This means that updating is not only necessary to retain Chrome users, but potentially all users on all browsers.
WHAT DO I DO?
Talk to someone that handles your development, hosting, or IT to make sure that they are ready to make this change very soon. They should be able to migrate your site from HTTP to HTTPS without too much additional work.
If you have a website through Rebuild Group, don’t worry! Google changes website requirements all the time, and staying one step ahead is a core part of our services. As always, it pays to be prepared and it certainly pays to know that whoever you trust your marketing to is prepared.