Chrome 68 To Mark All Non-HTTPS Sites As “Not Secure” in July 2018

Google has announced that with the launch of Chrome 68 in July 2018, Chrome will mark all non-HTTPS sites as “not secure”.

The update will make your omnibox display look like this:

Chrome 68

Chrome 68 omnibox display for HTTP pages

Overall, developers across the world have made significant progress towards safer connections and network. Let’s look at Google’s stats over the past year:

  • Over 68% of Chrome traffic on both Android and Windows is now protected.
  • Over 78% of Chrome traffic on both Chrome OS and Mac is now protected.
  • 81 of the top 100 sites on the web use HTTPS by default.

If your site has adopted HTTPS encryption before this announcement, then you can breathe a sigh of relief. However,  if your site still isn’t secure, then you’ve got a fair amount of time to make the transition.

There are now many ways to encrypt your servers, such as Let’s Encrypt (this is free!) or with the latest Node CLI version of Lighthouse.

However, making the switch from HTTP to HTTPS is not a simple feat, as Google treats this as a full-on site move. This transition requires website redirects. Implementing redirects can cause a lot of problems and site traffic fluctuations if not done properly. So the sooner you transition, the better. This gives you or your web developers time to fix redirect issues, as well as other potential problems like content duplication.

HTTPS Security Features

HTTPS is a powerful security feature that Google is constantly developing and improving to ensure good user experience. A secure HTTPS connection has the following benefits:

  1. Identity

The authentication process during a secure communication protocol ensures that your user is communicating with the actual website, not a “fake website” pretending to be your site.

2. Confidentiality

There are people online who would love to get their hands on vital security information, such as credit card numbers and passwords, among others. Encrypting the data that your user enters on your website keeps it secure from those who may want to see, or steal, this information.

3. Integrity

Running on an HTTPS server ensures that you and your user are sending each other data as you’ve intended. This means no extra or modified data is coming through, which may appear in the form of random ads or dangerous malware that can ruin the user experience.

Why This Chrome 68 Update  Matters for SEO

HTTPS is a crucial part of user experience and should not be neglected. Great user experience can increase site session time and, subsequently, conversation rates. It is an essential part of search engine optimisation.

Web pages can’t provide a good experience to site visitors if there are constant random ads popping up on your screen from third-party sites, or if there are malware risks.

On top of that, Google doesn’t like interstitial (pop-up) ads for mobile either, so it will downgrade your site on the SERPs.

There are also many web platform features only available with HTTPS, such as storing sensitive user information or geolocation (receiving your user’s current location information).

And if you’re a business in New Zealand, 95% of your customers are using Google to search for your product. 54% of those searches are done using Chrome. Neglecting more than half of your customer base probably isn’t the best idea.

Be prepared for the Chrome 68 update and secure your site before July 2018!

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Rachel Matela

Rachel is a Filipino Kiwi with a passion for the arts. Having graduated with an Arts Degree in English from UoA, she found writing work at PureSEO as a Junior Copywriter and quickly moved on to the role of Editor. In her spare time, she reads Austen and teaches dance classes in the weekend.

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