Since the release of the Chrome 68 web browser – which accounts for 81.2% of all web search – in July of 2018, Google has displayed this warning message to prospective visitors on non-https websites:
Google has been moving in this direction since 2014 when it announced that the HTTPS protocol would be “a very lightweight” ranking signal.
Early adaptation was slow, but a 2017 study found that more than 50% of first-page search results were sites that used HTTPS by that time. Additionally, eighty-one of the top 100 sites on the web were displaying HTTPS.
If you are still using HTTP it is impacting both your search rankings and the rate at which people are clicking through to visit your site.
An update to HTTPS on new sites should be automatic with most web design companies, however, if your existing site is still HTTP check with your designer or hosting company to add an SSL Certificate.
If you’re looking for new hosting for your WordPress website, HTTPS is included in our hosting package for free.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in May 2017 on Advisor Web Marketing. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in May of 2020.