Online security has never been a topic to get taken lightly. Now, the stakes have gotten even higher for businesses that manage a company blog.
Google recently announced that they’d begin blocking search results that contain ‘mixed content’ starting in December 2019. Users will still have the option to unblock mixed content until 2020. After, all sites with mixed content will get blocked.
What Is Mixed Content?
If you don’t follow the news relating to website development or internet marketing, the chances are good that the term ‘mixed content’ means little to you.
However, this is a huge deal for millions of publishers who haven’t strictly been following the best practices for HTTPS protocols.
Here is the most straightforward explanation of what causes mixed content.
Mixed content arises when a website or a webpage secured by HTTPS on the top domain level contains other resources, such as videos, images, or scripts, run on insecure (HTTP) protocols.
What Does This Mean For Site Owners?
Website owners who have protected their site, and the additional elements of their website, should experience few adverse effects from this change. Since everything is ‘safe and secure’ for visitors, website traffic should be able to make it through, business as usual.
Website owners who have overlooked installing TLS/SSL protocols or feature insecure elements on their website, however, will be downgraded in search engine results.
Visitors who attempt to visit your site will get a chilling warning or even get blocked from clicking through to the site. For visitors to proceed to your website, they will need to use the ‘unblock’ option to go forward. In 2020, all mixed content will get automatically blocked, regardless of user preferences.
As you can imagine, this change is very detrimental to any business website. When people are blocked or warned by visiting your site, traffic stops. Any sales or marketing from your website grind to a screeching halt. Revenues drop. Any budget you spend on Email or other paid advertising campaigns gets burned. Any goodwill or work you’ve done on Social Media platforms gets stopped with a shocking message that warns people of the potential danger that lurks if they click through.
How Can I Check For Insecure Content On My Website?
If you are unsure of whether or not your site is displaying mixed content, you can check compatibility using a Chrome Browser.
When visiting your site or an individual page, you’ll see a Shield Icon in the address bar. Click on the shield. Use the icon dialog box and set it to load unsafe scripts. This action will refresh the page, displaying any mixed content found on the page.
For larger or older sites with archives of mixed content, taking steps to address these mixed media could be time-consuming and tedious. Unless you only have a handful of pages, checking by hand is an unrealistic way to look for problematic content.
What Are The Reasons For These Changes?
Right now, Google displays content regardless of whether or not the site has insecure content. Since the search engine is looking to build a faster, safer internet for users, secure websites provide a streamlined and more secure experience.
Insecure elements create potential ‘keyholes’ for security breaches to occur. Since this data creates an ‘insecure’ connection, hackers and unauthorized third-parties can potentially gain access to sensitive information during this session.
Google wants to move away from showing sites that provide a poor user experience on Chrome products. They wish to maintain data integrity across the internet, authenticate content integrity, and uphold privacy by enforcing encryption on all content sources.
Does It Matter If I Only Have A Brochure Style Website?
Unfortunately, this new change affects websites of all types. Even if you aren’t collecting sensitive data or accepting payments, Google wants you to provide a secure experience for your visitors.
The new rules will impact every website, regardless of whether the site takes sensitive information.
Is It Time for an Upgrade and Redesign?
Two options exist to make this new issue go away.
- Contact us at once. We can make the necessary changes.
- Fix the website code directly to get rid of the errors.
If you don’t have SSL at all, you must make a move to secure your site at once. Ignoring the issue is essentially saying that you no longer care about search engine traffic. That’s a bold claim for any company, especially local businesses, in competitive search environments.
If you’re having trouble solving website security issues, it’s probably time to consider speaking with web development professionals. These experts understand the technical issues businesses face on the internet.
Google, Bing, and other search engines are relying on showing responsive websites that are fast and secure. They’re de-emphasizing placements for all the rest! If that’s not motivation enough to solve security problems once and for all, you may as well unpublish your site and throw in the towel.
If your website doesn’t have SSL, it needs work to get it up to today’s higher standards. This news from Google is an ideal time to address the design, security, and usability issues that are holding your business back. Google prefers “high-quality” sites these days, and that scoring comes from a combination of technical expertise, design prowess, and superior content.
Ask yourself a few timely and pertinent questions about your web presence.
- Are you willing to disappear from search engines?
- Are your current design and website representative of the talent your company possesses?
- Would your businesses benefit from a highly-converting, SEO friendly website that drives targeted visitors every day?
Almost all businesses get a benefit when they show up for topically relevant searches. Category searches in your city will help your business close more sales, especially when the customers are near purchasing. When they search for “Restaurant Near Me,” your diner needs to come up first.
If it sounds a bit like it’s always getting more complicated to be SEO-friendly and secure, that’s the truth. The stakes for doing the right thing are incredibly high, and the competition is incredibly fierce. Now’s the ideal time to stand out from the crowd and leave behind your competitors who are not keeping up with the constant request for changes from Google and other large internet companies.
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