Recently, Google announced that it has started considering HTTPS as a metric when deciding the pagerank of a given website. Thus, all other elements being equal, HTTPS websites get preference over HTTP ones.
However, Google has also decided to go a step further: pretty soon, it will mark HTTP websites as “unsafe”, and warn users about websites that are not using HTTPS.
An upcoming change proposed to the Google Chrome web browser will ensure that when a user visits a non-secure website, a red X mark will be displayed in the address bar: as of now, Google Chrome uses this mark when the SSL certificate of a website is incorrectly configured, thereby warning user that there is a problem with the SSL certificate of the active website.
However, after the new change is in effect, even otherwise safe websites that have no malware, say your photoblog or a casual blog, will be marked as “unsafe” in Google Chrome.
This change, though being promoted as something to safeguard the web, is being viewed as more of a monopolistic move by Google. By “forcing” webmasters to use HTTPS, Google may or may not make a safer internet, but it surely is making life difficult for the average user who just wishes to have a generic blog or website.
You can find related details on the Encrypt All The Things campaign site as well.
What do you think of this development? Have you started using HTTPS on all your websites? Share your views in the comments below.