The Google Chrome browser now identifies websites as “not secure” if they don’t have HTTPS

The Google Chrome browser now identifies websites as “not secure” if they don’t have HTTPS

Earlier this month, Google announced that they will be releasing a new ranking algorithm (referred to by the company as the “Speed Update”) that will use mobile page loading speed as a ranking factor in mobile search results. However, shortly following the announcement, Google also revealed that their Chrome browser will mark websites without HTTPS with a “not secure” label.

As Search Engine Land reports, this update will be rolled out in July, and it will coincide with the release of the newest version of the browser, Chrome 68. As they also point out, this update comes after years of Google trying to encourage webmasters to make their websites secure, and they have even hinted that doing so can make small changes to your ranking. This has proved to be successful, with over 68% of Chrome traffic on both Android and Windows now being protected, and over 78% of Chrome traffic on both Chrome OS and MAC now being protected.

Need help making your website secure by migrating it to HTTPS? Check out our quick guide to changing from HTTP to HTTPS below…

HTTP to HTTPS: A Rough Guide from Traffic Jam Media

Initial checklist:

  • Back-up your website fully before starting
  • Do a full crawl on the HTTP URL
  • Fix and amend any errors you find
  • Check your rankings/keyword positions/crawl rate
  • Purchase an SSL certificate
  • Choose a deployment option from the below:
    • Staging environment, then live site
    • Straight to the live site
  • Revise your sitemap and Robots.txt file
  • Recrawl your website

Things to check:

  • Internal images, videos, or audios
  • Web fonts
  • IFrames elements
  • Internal JS and CSS files inside the HTML code
  • Images, fonts, and any other internal URLs inside the JS and CSS files
  • Open Graph tags
  • Any absolute URL references in the Structured Data used on the website (as well as Schema.org references)
  • Any other internal links

Don’t forget: test, test, test!

More guidance on migrating your website from HTTP to HTTPS can be found in the below graphic from Search Engine Journal:

Google Chrome HTTPS ranking factor

The TJM take: why is it so important to migrate to HTTPS? If users are required to enter their personal information (such as payment details), they’re going to be far less willing to do so if your website isn’t secure.

However, remember that our guide isn’t a comprehensive list, and you need to be aware that making your website secure by migrating to HTTPS shouldn’t be a simple case of “redirect and forget”. Check out Aleyda Solis’ HTTP to HTTPS Migration Checklist and accompanying Google Doc.

More information can also be found at the below resources:

Another thing to be aware of is that the actions you take will be different for every website, and these will depend on a range of factors (such as the age of your domain).

All sound a bit complicated? If you need more guidance, contact us and we’d be happy to advise!

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