In one of life’s great ironies, change is a universal constant. The major tech companies out there that have subtle (and sometimes not so subtle influence over our businesses have really embraced this.
No company has refined the art of influencing others to make changes like Google. Lets face it as a searcher, they have convinced you that you are searching wrong. If you don’t see the results you want on the first page of results you don’t dig deeper, they have created an environment where you change what you are looking for.
When Google wanted to stop having to show people using mobile search badly formatted, mobile unfriendly pages, they announced that these pages would be penalized in search results. In response, millions of websites decided to get up off their collective butts and made the changes necessary to become mobile friendly.
When Google got sick of having to put slow loading pages in their search results that annoyed their users, they announced that site performance would be a part of the ranking algorithms. So businesses started taking website performance seriously.
Now they are at it again. With the July 2018 update to Chrome, Google will go from the little grey circle with an exclamation point, to straight up telling its users that the page in question is “Not Secure.” At least they didn’t go with the nice bright red letters and a red warning triangle that they originally hinted at in 2016 but that isn’t off the table yet..
They have been hinting at this since late in 2016. But now it is set to go live. In 2017 they started doing this with pages that had forms or other elements that should have been secured. Now they will do this with all HTTP pages.
Google Chrome is currently the most widely adopted/used internet browser (around the world and just here in the US). So this means that the browser is going to be shining a big spotlight on non-secure pages to all of its users.
The next step that Google has announced (no timeline yet) is going to be surfacing the non-secure site warnings in their search results.
Luckily setting up an SSL Certificate for your website gets easier and easier every day and services like Let’s Encrypt attempt to make the pricing comfortable for a wide range of businesses.