Google Is Forcing You to Switch to HTTPS by October or Lose Rankings
HTTPS is certainly something that Google was gently pushing last year. They were incentivizing early adopters of HTTPS. Not only does HTTPS get the “Secure” marking from Chrome, it also actually helps you secure your website better.
That’s not the main point of this post though. You see, earlier today, Google sent out emails to Search Console users and the main gist of the email is that if you have a non-HTTPS website, then you have to adopt HTTPS before October or you risk losing traffic and have a “NOT SECURE” notification pop-up on your website for Chrome users.
Full disclosure: Here’s the email that Google sent out to Search Console users. Obviously, we’re all going to get different messages because we all manage different websites but the message is the same: Adopt HTTPS by October 2017 or suffer.
I’m an early adopter for HTTPS and I’ve written many articles about its benefits. Basically speaking, HTTPS helps your website be more secure which is reflected by the “SECURE” notification that Chrome displays for HTTPS sites.
HTTPS is safe, HTTP is not
Basically speaking, the reason for Google’s push towards HTTPS is website security. Earlier this year, Google sent out notifications that secure-data must be secured. This includes, but is not limited to sites that collect customer data such as credit-card information and even personal information.
HTTP basically allows unauthorized people to tap into your computer and steal all of your valuable information.
Google wants to avoid that by strongly encouraging the shift to HTTPS.
The weird thing is, Google was never this pushy about HTTPS. They were encouraging the shift by dangling rewards and increase in visibility as well as rankings. Obviously, the “nice” approach wasn’t working out as fast as they wanted to which prompted their sudden 180.
The email clearly stated that the new warning is a part of Google’s long-term plan to mark all pages served over HTTP to be marked as “not secure” so now, people HAVE to change to HTTPS by October or risk losing traffic and being marked as such.
My opinion on the matter is that you should definitely adopt HTTPS before then. Not only will you be ahead of your competition, you will also be able to adjust to the changes before everyone else can.
So what are you waiting for, contact your developers and switch to HTTPS today! Better yet, make the change yourself by reading how I made the jump to HTTPS when nobody else was.