Your October 2017 Search Engine Bytes Digest
Do I really need to migrate my http site to https by October '17?What exactly is the Google HTTPS change that's coming in October? Is it just for forms on a website? I've not converted over to https yet (I know, I need to) but wondering, am I really under the gun to get whatever needs to be done by October?
For starters, HTTP/HTTPS has been a ranking factor since 2014. Although it's not significant and is what we describe as a tie breaker when it comes to the ranking boost it gives, that alone has been incentive for many sites to have made the switch. However, it's common enough for a website that isn't part of the 'Your Money or Your Life' industries (physical, financial, safety, etc.) to have procrastinated on making the move so you aren't alone.
However, come October, Google will start ratcheting up the ugly non-secure warnings geared to scare anyone using the most recent version of the Chrome browser. Your site visitors will clearly see that your page is "Not Secure." Here's the update we posted last May covering this topic. Those ugly warnings are a far better incentive to make the move because any business needs to instill trust with their customers and if they're seeing security warnings the minute they hit your site that's a problem that can and will impact your bottom line.
We've stressed for some time the importance and inevitability of migrating your site from HTTP to HTTPS. Now, Google has made it a critical upgrade for your site. So do whatever you have to do, but get it done as soon as possible.
Bear in mind the browser warnings will only get louder and more obnoxious. Eventually Chrome will become incompatible with unsecure web pages and Google will ultimately render them functionally unfindable in the search results.
Fortunately, migrating the site is not that hard. Just follow the directions in this tutorial...