June 12th, 2018
This is the mind-set of the folks at Google right now. As we’ve all experienced recently, the push by major internet browsers to protect user data is for good reason. Today, we’re bringing to your attention a rapidly approaching Google deadline set to coincide with the release of their Chrome 68 in July, 2018. At that time Chrome will mark all HTTP sites with an alert stating the site is “not secure.”1 This message will replace the more subtle information (“i”) icon and may also be considered the next step before blocking access with a bold “enter at your own risk” pop-up in the not-too-distant future. We expect other browsers (Safari, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, etc.) to follow suit.
Your website security will begin to have a direct reflection on search rankings.
Of course, there has been some push-back, but to help explain Google’s action, we’ll use their argument on the subject: “HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site. Users expect a secure and private online experience when using a website. We encourage you to adopt HTTPS in order to protect your users’ connections to your website, regardless of the content on the site.”
What to Do
Since early 2017 Small Details has begun converting websites to HTTPS during scheduled theme upgrades or on request by the client. These efforts should be considered part of your website “search engine optimization” (SEO) and often serve to improve rankings by virtue of the new site security AND through enhanced content—link checks, “alt tags,” image labeling, etc. Naturally there are fees involved but HTTPS conversion itself generally takes less than 3 hours at the standard $50/hour rate. If you know for a fact your site is NOT secure, please GET IN TOUCH.
If you are unsure, take these steps:
- Check Your Website—Visit your site homepage and take a look at the “URL” (website address). This can be found at the top of your browser screen (Google Chrome, MSN Edge, Safari, etc). If there is no “lock” next to the address, &/or it doesn’t begin with “https://” the site is not secure. You may also see a small information icon (“i”) which will indicate site security if you click or mouseover.
- Consider the Age of the Website—If your site is more than 3 years old, there’s a good chance some of the features may no longer be supported by the browsers or may require an upgrade. In addition, please consider whether your site is mobile-friendly, review your News &/or site content. If you are not mobile-friendly and haven’t updated any of your website materials (services, products, offerings, news… something!) YOU NEED TO TAKE ACTION. Your website is likely your #1 advertising tool, so staying ahead of your competitors is a priority.
- Get in Touch—After consideration of these two steps please give us a call or drop us an email. We will work with you to put together an action plan based on priorities and budget. Upgrades are often handled using a phase approach and we are here to help!
With over 20 years in the industry, Small Details offers website design, development, search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and works with affiliates to provide hosting, graphic design and other business services.
- A secure web is here to stay, Feb. 8, 2018. Google Article.