Last updateTue, 19 Mar 2019 7pm

The SJG Smart Business Report: Google’s “Not Secure” is coming

Google’s “Not Secure” is coming. Are you ready for the (http)S to hit the fan?


The date for Google’s latest Chrome browser update is rapidly approaching, and more than 90% of businesses who rely on a website to create a virtual presence and connect with customers in the online marketplace have no idea what’s about to hit them.

Beginning in July 2018, Google is rolling out Chrome 68, and will begin marking all HTTP sites as “Not Secure.” What does that mean for you? It means if you haven’t added a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate to your website, you’ll soon be named and shamed as a “non-trusted” source on the world wide web.

If you think this won’t affect you, think again. As of February 28, 2018, Google’s Chrome browser was the #1 browser in terms of market share, with an astounding 59.9% of people making it their browser of choice. Operating a website without an SSL certificate once Chrome 68 is released means more than half of the visitors to your website will be greeted with a “Not Secure” message displayed in the browser bar to the left of your website URL.

Google has been gently nudging Chrome users away from less secure, unencrypted (standard HTTP) websites for years. That gentle nudging has now turned into a forceful shove, with the change timed to coincide with the release of Chrome 68.

What is HTTP vs HTTPS? Many people don’t understand the difference, but if your business has a website operating on the internet, it’s important to know. HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol.  HTTP is the foundation of data communication used on the internet, and defines how every message is formatted and transmitted, as well as the actions servers and browsers should take in response to various commands.

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is the secure version of HTTP, and guarantees users visiting a website with HTTPS that all communications and data shared or exchanged between their browser and the website they are visiting are encrypted and secure. This ensures no one in the middle can intercept information or spy on transactions conducted on a website that uses HTTPS.


Google isn’t the only company driving the internet towards HTTPS. In April 2015, the Mozilla team announced its intent to depreciate HTTP, and since then, Firefox has adopted a similar stance.  Microsoft and Apple are moving at a slower pace, but the lag can be attributed to the fact that they tend to release and update browsers at a much slower rate than Google and Mozilla.

If your business relies in any way on your website to get business through your door, then you would be seriously negligent if you don’t take care of this issue right now, while you still have time. Once Google launches Chrome 68 in July, people who visit your website are going to see a warning telling them that your website is not secure. Is it worth it for your customers to think you are running a website that isn’t safe for them to view or shop on? In addition to making your customers feel confident and secure to spend their time and money with you online, adding an SSL certificate to secure your website has other proven benefits as well.

SJG coverSeveral recent case studies have shown that implementing an SSL certificate on a website can increase conversion rates anywhere between 11% and 42% on websites that conduct eCommerce sales. In addition, other studies have indicated conversion rates increased significantly, some as much as 87%, when eCommerce and lead generation data was combined.

Google has already stated that having HTTPS encryption by default on a website is a huge factor, along with content and mobile user experience, within their search algorithm. Recent studies of sites who have deployed HTTPS have seen notable ranking updates which demonstrate the increasing value of SSL certificates within Google’s algorithm. 

“Ann has been a vital part and trusted partner of my business for many years by leading and guiding the development of growing my business online through website development, social media, direct mail campaigns, press releases and much more, ​She​ has great insight into developing the confusing ins and outs by saving me countless hours that deliver impact immediately and for the long term. Ann and her team are trustworthy, direct, accurate and efficient in their decisions that lead to a profitable outcomes.”

Elliott Herzlich
Elliott’s Jewelers, Clarksville, Tennessee

Don’t get caught unaware - your company brand and online reputation is too important to risk. Reach out to your webmaster today and ask them to install an SSL certificate on your website, or give us a call, we can help! For more than 20 years, GJB, Inc., the parent company of the Southern Jewelers Guild has been helping companies secure their digital assets, manage social media plans, streamline online data processes and implement trusted website applications, such as SSL certificates. Not sure where to start? Connect with us today! E-mail Ann@SouthernJewelersGuild or call 504-615-1191.