Google’s shunning of less secure websites is nothing new. The search engine has been ranking less secure HTTP websites lower than secure HTTPS websites in searches since 2014.
With each Chrome browser update, Google introduces a new layer of cyber accountability for website owners. When they released the Chrome 62 browser in 2017, Google initiated a labeling system that allowed visitors to see which websites were encrypting what data came through their domains.
Their address bar displayed a banner informing users of the encryption status of the website they were browsing. Once a user started typing anything into a given page, a message, “Not Secure” would appear.
Now with Chrome 68 just released in July of 2018, this banner is present in the address bar at all times, without the user having to type in any information at all.
We’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. <...> We’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web. -Google Webmasters Blog, August 2014.
With the Chrome 68 update, users will see one of three status’s pop up in their address bar:
Indicates websites that are HTTPS websites with total SSL encryption.
Indicates simple websites without an SSL.
Indicates websites known for collecting user information and without an SSL.
Google’s top priority is security for its users. By arming them with information, individuals can make informed choices which sites they engage with, and are less likely to visit a webpage that could compromise their data.
For website owners, the choice is clear. Contact the 2Point team today and take the steps to fully encrypt your site, or be labeled as a potentially dangerous webpage.