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Google Algorithm Update – August 2018 – Are you secure?

So it’s happened! Some might say a new month, a new challenge faced with Google Algorithm updates. Well, this is not strictly true for a number of reasons:

  1. Google made an update to its algorithm and notified us of this change in July. It’s now August 🙂
  2. This change is about security, or perceived security of your website for users and using https not http. In all fairness to Google they have been talking about since before the turn of 2108.
  3. The changes means that:
    1. Users will get a notification that a website is not secure in their browser
    2. User must be using the latest version of Chrome to see the notification and Google themselves have said this could take weeks or months to get all users to update to the latest version of Chrome

Whats the difference?

There’s a lot of speculation with this update and the answer you get could be dependent on which camp you sit in so lets break this down.

What happens now?

The difference now is that in Google Chrome v68 users get a warning that the site being visited is not secure. This has been present in the address bar for many months but this message is more blatant!

So what are the effects?

Some say there are none but there are at least 2:

  1. Users see a non-secure message and drive bounce rate for your site or drive non engagement with the ad served.
  2. Google know you are not secure and hold you back in rankings.

Here is an image taken from Quora that highlights the issue of not being https. These results tell a tale when you think of rankings….

So, even if you want to ignore these results there is the question of how being non-https affects conversion rates.

The importance of this is dependent on the objective of the site. As a blog is this critical? Probably not. As an ecommerce site where people have to hand over credit card details – most likely.

Time will tell and the coming weeks will be interesting to see how this latest update affects rankings, traffic and conversions. And even more so how it affects metrics on different devices.

Keep an eye on your site, your key metrics and whats happening. There may be some actions to take, especially if you have not yet migrated to https.

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