Google has announced that from July any non-HTTPS website will be hit by marked with a warning signs in the omnibox – the search field at the top of the browser – in a bid to improve web security.
With over 50% of all UK searches performed through a Google browser, the move could have a significant negative impact on the traffic of websites that do not use HTTPS security.
HTTPS, or HTTP Secure, signifies that a website has an SSL Certificate. The ‘Certificate’ is a piece of code that encrypts the communication between a person’s web browser and a website, ensuring information passed between them remains secure. This is important for transactional websites, where personal or bank details may be being shared with a website.
Along with keeping information secure, an SSL Certificate also provides verification that the website that a browser is talking to is the legitimate website. This prevents the occurrence of spoofing – a phishing tactic becoming increasingly common.
Google has been promoting HTTPS since 2016, rewarding websites with HTTPS with higher positions in search over those that do not have it. Having promoted this update with ‘a carrot’ approach, it’s clear that Google now intends to use ‘the stick’ of traffic penalties to improve web browsing security.
Note: As of 24 July 2018 Google has begun marking websites without SSL certificates as unsecure. See the example below:
To obtain an SSL Certificate for your website, please call 01732 762 675 or get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.