In late 2016, Google strongly recommended e-commerce and transactional sites move to HTTPS, sooner rather than later. There was no promise of a rankings boost, but rather a risk of penalties and visual warnings to users.
Simply, it is a more secure version of your site that encrypts data and protects user information - such as credit cards and passwords. Google is pushing towards creating a safer & more reliable web, and will soon be clearly alerting online users about sites that are not collecting data in the most secure way possible.
Following the 2016 announcement, many sites enabled HTTPS to be prepared & avoid penalties and browser display warnings before they were introduced. At the time, there was no expected date, and the recommendation was geared towards sites that collected sensitive information.
Now, Google has announced 'Not Secure' warnings will appear on ANY SITE not on HTTPS as of October 2017, that has any type of 'form' on their site - this could be as simple as an enquiry form or search box. Without HTTPS, your site will begin displaying big, scary red warning signals when users try to enter any kind of information onto your site - not exactly the kind of thing they want to see.
This kind of warning has never been seen on such a large scale before, but it's easy to assume the impact will be immense and wide spread. Transactional sites without HTTPS will most likely see a large drop in revenue, as users become scared to share payment details. Sites with less traditional conversions, such as form fills will also notice a large drop in conversions and traffic, as users navigate to safer sites.
Your blog isn't on HTTPS? Making the shift is simple - we've put together a beginners guide that explains what you'll need to do to keep your audience happy (and maybe steal some of your competitor's conversions as their audience turns away).
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