Search listings for sites that are running on an HTTP connection will begin to be marked as non-secure starting in January 2017. Google Chrome displays connection security with an icon in its search results to give users a better idea of what they’re clicking on. Google Chrome currently displays a neutral indicator for pages running on a HTTP connection but there are risks. A website loaded over an HTTP connection can be modified by someone else on the network before it gets to you.
Avoiding the non-secure indicator on your search listings requires running your site over a secure HTTPS connection. Adding an SSL Certificate to your site will create a secure link to your site. SSL encryption allows all data passed between your server and a user’s browser remains secure over an HTTPS connection. Running your site with an SSL Certificate is needed if you accept credit card info and can add credibility to any site.
Another benefit of using an SSL Certificate is the ability to connect to your site over an HTTP2 connection. HTTP2 is a major revision of the HTTP protocol that was made to run sites more efficiently across the web. Sites running on HTTP2 have significantly faster load times. Up to this point HTTP2 has required that connected sites also have an SSL certificate so data remains encrypted.
In January 2017 Google will begin the process of labeling all HTTP sites as non-secure with pages that accept passwords and credit card info. Research has shown that users don’t see the absence of a secure icon on search results as a threat. Google plans to roll out the new non-secure labels in gradual steps using increasingly strict requirements. By the end of this process Google plans to label all sites running over an HTTP connection as non-secure.
The non-secure indicator, which will be displayed in the url bar, is a clear message from Google that it thinks the future of the web should be encrypted. The change will make listings for sites that are still running on insecure HTTP connections more pronounced. Sites that get labeled with the insecure indicator will likely see a large decrease in traffic as users learn more about what it means in regards to their online security.
Beginning in 2017 any site that expects to get significant traffic from search listings should have an SSL Certificate and run over HTTPS. Google has made it clear that it feel HTTP provides no data security. Boston Web Group is an expert at adding SSL Certificates to sites to establish a secure connection. Keep getting clicks from the listings for your pages by getting an SSL Certificate installed by BWG.