On October 17, 2017, Google rolled out Chrome 62, which had a feature that alerts users if they’re visiting an unsecured website, particularly those with internal search boxes and forms. This is a step toward the company’s overarching vision to have all pages served through an encrypted or secure data connection.
About a year before the Chrome Security Warnings update for forms, Google implemented the HTTPS policy to websites that have login fields. If a page has this section for passwords and other confidential information such as credit card details but doesn’t use a secure connection for it, the browser will issue a warning to users and inform them of the risks involved in sharing their data through an unencrypted channel.
For this update, Chrome adds two scenarios where it displays the “Not Secure” warning. One is when users type in information on an HTTP page through forms. The other improvement shows the alert on all HTTP pages accessed using Incognito mode.
Google reiterated its vision to label all HTTP sites as unsecured. The team also added their belief that all data shared by users should be private; that’s why they’re working on enhancing web security by promoting SSL. This protocol ensures privacy through encryption as well as renders information challenging to access and decipher by hackers.
Since Google is one of the most popular search engines, the update paved the way for a more secure web browsing and searching experience for all users. The new warning was part of their overall plan to tag all HTTP pages as “Not Secure.” Now, it’s rare to find sites that don’t use HTTPS and Chrome continues to warn searchers when they’re about to visit a domain that’s unsecured.
Serving your pages through an encrypted connection has been a ranking factor since August 2014 when Google developers decided to prioritize the security of users’ data. This motivated the webmaster community to use SSL as a default setting for their sites and provide a safe online experience for their visitors.
Back then, it was deemed as a lightweight signal, which means that it doesn’t have a considerable influence on ranking. This gave webmasters ample time to make critical improvements on their websites. Today, using a secure connection is crucial for your SEO.
Here are three reasons why HTTPS is essential for your website: