The Priority for Transitioning Your Website to Secure Just Got More Urgent
Last September, Google announced their efforts to move towards a secure web. This January, Google Chrome users began seeing a “not secure” notation within the address bar of HTTP pages that collect passwords or credit cards. Webmasters also began receiving warnings in late January and early February via Google Search Console regarding the collection of credit card data or passwords on non-secure pages. This means visitors to your website will see "Not secure" warnings in their Chrome address bars if you are having them submit passwords or credit card information on non-secure pages of your website. Cutting to the chase, transitioning your website to secure and formulating a strategic plan to do so has become a top priority for 2017.
Nothing is as easy as it seems
Though switching your website to secure seems like a simple “change of HTTP to HTTPS” within the address bar, the devil is in the details. To make the transition effective, strategic planning is needed to ensure you don’t lose organic and overall online visibility. While these problems may seem unimportant since they don't impact the look or usability of your website, and the warnings are currently only appearing in Chrome, you may think you can ignore the issue altogether, or take some shortcuts in addressing the problems. Big mistake. Over the past year, issues due to transitioning to secure incorrectly have become a common occurrence with new clients contacting E-Power for assistance. From canonicalization to improper or no redirects to only transitioning certain pages without updating them appropriately, we’re seeing a wide variety of problems that can be avoided with a strategy and plan.
Google has also stated they will continue moving forward in making the web more secure in the future. The mentions of more prominent warnings to users is only the start. A quick fix or even ignoring the issue altogether now will almost certainly mean bigger issues in the future. Moving to secure is no longer a “Will I ever have to move my website to secure?” to a “When do I need to switch it over by?” question.
I just won't use Google Chrome anymore
Some may argue that not everyone uses Google Chrome and that is true. This current "not secure" warning is only for Google Chrome users. However, only your website traffic can tell you what that means for your business. I can honestly say, when reviewing our clients Google Analytics accounts, there was only one website in which Chrome was not the leading browser. So as much as we’d like to claim that the playing field isn't dominated by Google, the data just isn't there.
What do I do next?
Each website presents its own set of challenges. What may work for one situation will not likely be the same for another (which is exactly why I personally love technical SEO). Begin discussing what is needed with your online marketing team and your web developer to start the transition to secure. Find out what the costs and timeline are for the project. If you're not already working with an online marketing team, now is a great time to start the process. The right agency can help you ensure you don't lose any of the visibility you've already earned (a common issue when addressing these types of problems). We love working with web developers to help them understand the issues we're hearing from Google and working together to come up with the right strategy for each website to generate even better online results and user experiences in the long run!