Websites Beware – Is Google blacklisting HTTP?
February 16, 2017
Let’s start from the beginning so we’re all on the same page.
What is HTTP?
HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol and is the old and not secure version in which information and data is shared while you are visiting a website. And as we all know, Google doesn’t like things that are old and not secure.
What does this mean in English?
HTTP is not a safe platform for people entering in their personal or financial details onto a website as it can potentially be accessed by a third party. HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), is the most recent and secure protocol because it encrypts and protects information
Why does Google care if a website is using HTTP?
What Google is doing is softly letting everyone know that if your website is HTTP (as opposed to its far more secure and trustworthy big brother HTTPS), your website will be deemed a risk and visitors will be cautioned that the page is ‘not secure.’
Google is not going to risk information of its millions of users being compromised by referring them to what it sees as a ‘risky’ website.
In Google’s eyes, a website using HTTP and not HTTPS has the potential of making the user’s online experience very very bad. This can be done in several ways such as:
- Being redirected to an imposter website. You may not even be aware that you have been redirected to a completely different website because you’re on a compromised network.
- Stealing your information. HTTP connections are not encrypted thus allowing all financial and personal information entered onto the website to potentially be accessed by a malicious third party.
- Being ‘watched’ by individuals and organisations who can easily access your information on a website with HTTP in addition to collecting information on the websites you are visiting and the data you are transferring.
What happens if your website is using HTTP?
Nothing right now, but as Google begins its roll out, it will be advising users of websites that are flagged as ‘unsecure’ which may turn people away from your website. In the first phase of Google’s strike against HTTP and people’s privacy being breached, it will be targeting specific pages on websites that are asking for credit card details before doing a blanket sweep of any page on any website using HTTP and not HTTPS.
Whilst Google have said this will not affect rankings, common sense does suggest if there’s a warning about a website not being secure, the traffic to that website is certainly not going to increase organically.
If your website is using HTTP on any or all pages, you should seriously consider making the switch over to HTTPS sooner rather than later. As we all know, you often only get one chance with new customers and if their first impression of your business is that your website is not secure, it can be extremely difficult to ever get them back.
Need to change over to HTTPS?
If your website starts with “ http:// “ in the web browser’s address bar, then contact our head office today so we can get your business’s (and your customer’s) information protected. And also keep the very important Mr. Google happy.