Google’s HTTPS Deadline – What Impact Will This Have On Your Website?
Did you know that from the end of July 2018 Google is going to introduce a new security feature that will use a visible flag to highlight all HTTP websites that are not secure.
Google announced that all websites would need to be upgraded from HTTP to HTTPS by the July deadline, to prevent being flagged up as a non-secure site.
The flag itself will appear next to the web address and the image below shows an example.
What is HTTP/HTTPS?
HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol) and HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) are both protocols. They provide a set of rules and procedures that tell electronic devices how to transfer data between them.
They are most commonly used to tell devices how to transfer data between your website pages and the web server.
The main difference between them is that an HTTPS connection is secure, whilst an HTTP connection is not.
This is because HTTPS encrypts the data being sent and received. This ensures that if anyone tries to access the information you’re sending when you use the website, they won’t be able to read it.
HTTP on the other hand makes any data being transferred unsecure. This is especially problematic for ecommerce sites, as the data can include information such as bank card details and home addresses.
The easiest way to tell if the website that you’re browsing is secure is to view the browser bar – as well as showing https:// in the website address, there should also be a padlock image with the word ‘Secure’ next to it.
If the website is not secure, you will see an information button next to the website address and when you click on it, it will tell you that the connection to the site is not secure. The new flag will actually say that it is ‘Not Secure’
Upgrading to HTTPS therefore means you’re providing a higher level of data protection and security for your website visitors.
Browsers and the Google Deadline
With the majority of people using Google Chrome, it’s clear that if you do not upgrade to a secure website you could now be at risk of losing out on a lot of potential business.
• Chrome 50%
• Safari 28%
• Internet Explorer 5%
• Firefox 5%
What is the impact of taking no action if I have a ‘non-secure’ website?
• Your visitors will no longer trust your website.
• You will get a rise in bounce rates as the ‘not secure’ flag will scare customers away.
• You are likely to see a reduction in conversions as customers will not feel confident using payment gateways with your site.
• Google will start penalising sites that are not secure, so your organic rankings could take a dip.
What are the benefits of making sure your website is HTTPS?
• Your customers will have the confidence to use your website knowing that their data is secure.
• Having a secure website is a sure way to attract new customers by showing them that you take their data security seriously.
• You will not be penalised by Google, so your bounce rate and organic rankings should not be affected.
HTTPS and GDPR
We all know that GDPR is a high priority topic right now, and consumers and business owners are more aware of their privacy rights than ever before.
In order to stay ahead of the game and to meet the increasingly growing security expectations, you will need to take action in order to gain new customers and to help retain the customers that you already have.
With the deadline now here, new and existing customers will be informed when they visit your website that it is ‘not secure’. This will help them to make their own decision on whether to carry on using the website or to jump off it as they are not willing to take the security risk.
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