Effective July 2018, Google’s Chrome browser will mark non-HTTPS sites as ‘not secure’

July is shaping up to be a big month for Google. Earlier this month, the company announced its Speed Update set to roll out in July, and today announced it will then also mark all sites that have not migrated to HTTPS as “not secure.”
This move will coincide with the release of Chrome 68 and will look like this in a user’s browser:
HTTPS warning in Chrome 68
Google has been pushing webmasters to make the change to non-secure web sites a for years now – including hinting at small rankings

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5 local search tactics your competitors probably aren’t using

Local SEO is competitive and fierce. With more and more local businesses vying for the Google local three-pack — and ads and online directories occupying a large percentage of the remaining SERP real estate — your local SEO strategy has to be aggressive.
So, what can you do to outrank your local competitors down the street, especially when you’ve all got the basics down? One approach is to use local SEO tactics that your competitors may not know about or aren’t using. Here are five local SEO tactics you can implement to help get ahead of your competitors.
Google Posts
First, every local business should claim their Google My Business (GMB) listing. It’s a must-do. Non-negotiable. If you don’t claim your Google My Business listing, you essentially don’t exist online! (Okay, that’s an exaggeration — but not claiming your GMB listing will significantly diminish your chances of showing up in local search results.)
Of your competitors who claim their Google My Business listing,

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Moving to HTTPS? Don’t miss this unique opportunity!

Most SEOs have heard by now that moving web pages with forms to HTTPS is necessary to avoid being shown as “not secure” in Chrome 62.
Moving to HTTPS is a good step to take for a number of reasons, but there is also an unique SEO opportunity which is often overlooked — an opportunity that can significantly help your website with its SEO rankings, if done properly.
So, what is the opportunity? Moving to HTTPS will encourage Googlebot to recrawl most of your URLs. Googlebot has its own mechanism for determining and prioritizing which URLs to recrawl; however, when Googlebot detects a move to HTTPS, it tends to temporarily increase the crawl rate in an attempt to crawl as many URLs as possible within a short time frame. As such, this is a unique, one-time opportunity to improve your overall website’s signals in the Google Index.
Crawl budget
Most sites have a certain crawl rate, based on a number of

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SEO priorities for the new year

With New Year’s Day still fresh in our memories, there is no better time to step back and take stock of your SEO campaigns. Look for any quick wins and identify the larger projects that will help you start the year in great shape.
Hygiene: Quick wins
These are the actions you can do tomorrow.  In my view, there are two keys areas to focus on.
1. Google Search Console review
Google Search Console is often neglected, but it can be one of the best sources of information for identifying quick wins. Working through Search Console’s navigation from top to bottom, I would look for any errors or warnings. The main areas to review include:

Structured data. Ensure there are no errors within your markup.
HTML improvements. Revising duplicated or lengthy meta descriptions and page titles can be an easy method of increasing CTR for your existing rankings, especially if you work closely with your paid search counterparts to identify their top-performing ad

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Google Search Console warns of nonsecure collection of passwords with upcoming Chrome browser release

This morning, Google began sending out notices through the Google Search Console to websites that have login and password fields on pages that are not over HTTPS. The notification says nonsecure Collection of Passwords will trigger warnings in Chrome 56 for domain.com.
Chrome 56 in January will issue a security warning for web pages that have these login fields without serving them on a page that is over HTTPS. The message reads:
Beginning in January 2017, Chrome (version 56 and later) will mark pages that collect passwords or credit card details as “Not Secure” unless the pages are served over HTTPS.
The following URLs include input fields for passwords or credit card details that will trigger the new Chrome warning. Review these examples to see where these warnings will appear, and so you can take action to help protect users’ data. The list is not exhaustive.
Google also posted about this on Google+ and wrote:
From the end of January with Chrome

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Google’s HTTPS algorithm still only looks at the URL to give ranking boost

In August 2014, Google launched their HTTPS ranking boost, where it would give sites that served up their pages on HTTPS a small ranking boost. But did you know that the only signal Google uses to determine if you should get that ranking boost is the first five characters of the URL, the “https” portion?
Google does not look to ensure the certificate is valid or determine if the page has insecure content on the page or give you any of the typical browser warnings you’d get if the page is really not secure. Google will give the ranking boost solely based on the URL, starting with HTTPS.
Gary Illyes, the Googler who wrote the HTTPS ranking boost signal, told us this in part two of our interview with him. He said the HTTPS signal,”basically looking at the first five characters in front of the URL, and if it’s HTTPS and it managed to get in the search results

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Is your HTTPS setup causing SEO issues?

Google has been making the push for sites to move to HTTPS, and many folks have already started to include this in their SEO strategy. Recently at SMX Advanced, Gary Illyes from Google said that 34 percent of the Google search results are HTTPS. That’s more than I personally expected, but it’s a good sign, as more sites are becoming secured.
However, more and more, I’m noticing a lot of sites have migrated to HTTPS but have not done it correctly and may be losing out on the HTTPS ranking boost. Some have also created more problems on their sites by not migrating correctly.
HTTPS post-migration issues
One of the common issues I noticed after a site has migrated to HTTPS is that they do not set the HTTPS site version as the preferred one and still have the HTTP version floating around. Google back in December 2015 said in scenarios like this, they would index the HTTPS by default.
However, the

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HTTP to HTTPS: An SEO’s guide to securing a website

Back when I wrote the article, “Why Everyone Should Be Moving To HTTP/2,” it was meant to bring awareness to an awesome protocol upgrade that I thought was an easy win to make a website faster.
Since then, I have spoken to hundreds of business owners and SEOs about upgrading, performed dozens of upgrades and troubleshot dozens more. I have realized that there is still one big hurdle for both business owners and SEOs: HTTPS. The gotcha moment with HTTP/2 is that most browsers only support this new protocol over a secure connection, which means you have to migrate your website to HTTPS.
It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that Google and many others want the web to be more secure. Google had their HTTPS everywhere campaign, they announced HTTPS as a ranking signal, and they have started indexing secure pages over unsecured pages. They even have their own guide, “Securing Your Website With HTTPS,” which I encourage

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Why Everyone Should Be Moving To HTTP/2

If I told you that your website could load faster, your server could use fewer resources, your developers wouldn’t have to waste time on hacks to increase site speed and you’d get a boost to your rankings all from one simple change, you’d probably call me a liar. If it sounds too good to be true, then it must be, right?
Wrong! The future is here with one of the greatest advancements in web technology in the past 20 years, and the SEO community doesn’t seem to be talking about it.
When Barry Schwartz posted a recap of a recent Google Webmaster Central Hangout in which Google’s John Mueller said that GoogleBot will support HTTP/2 by the end of this year or early next year, I expected a mad scramble and people shouting from the rooftops. Instead, there were crickets throughout the SEO industry.

You should already have switched to HTTP/2 for many reasons, including a tremendous speed increase, which makes for a better user

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Drop In Bing? Moving To HTTPS (SNI) Would Have Caused It

Last August, Google announced they’d be giving a small ranking boost for serving secured (HTTPS) content, in an effort to “encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.” As more and more sites migrate, Bing seems to have had trouble keeping up with uprising security methods and standards.
Bing’s Trouble Crawling TLS SNI
If your site has moved to HTTPS using an extension of TLS called SNI, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a drop in Bing crawling and rankings. This is due to, prior to this month, Bing’s inability to crawl sites with this specific implementation of site security. In fact, they’ve only been able to manually “whitelist” sites with this type of implementation. Unfortunately, this issue seems to prevent the transfer of equity to HTTPS URLs, even with proper one to one 301 redirects.
As shown below, the end result is a severe drop in crawling, ranking, and visits

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