When it comes to web gateway technology, the HTTPS protocol is far more inherently secure than HTTP, but hasn’t seen wide use until recently. Partly driven by a push from Google that included updates geared toward encouraging users to exercise caution with non-HTTPS websites in Chrome and to push the connection standard for their own content. Google also worked alongside website owners and content creators of all spades to help ease the pain of migrating most of the web over to HTTPS. In a blog post highlighting the fact that Google’s HTTPS report card will now include overall adoption data over time, Google pointed out that over half of all traffic generated by Chrome users these days is secured via HTTPS, and that accounts for roughly two-thirds of Chrome users’ collective screen time.
As HTTPS continues to roll on in popularity and find itself used in more and more of the web, Google has promised to help the rollout by continuing to work with webmasters, as well as offering exclusive features that only work via HTTPS. Features that are either impractical over an insecure connection or take advantage of HTTPS quirks include the likes of credit card detail autofill, push notifications, and HTML5 geolocation. Google has also provided resources for webmasters to help ensure that things like their Google search rankings and SEO data aren’t affected by the jump to HTTPS.
To make HTTPS migration that much less painful, Google is also ensuring that all of their ad content is HTTPS friendly. All of the advertising served over Google’s own programs, like AdWords and AdSense, are served via HTTPS, allowing webmasters to integrate the ad platforms on their newly converted HTTPS websites without any work at all. Google’s partner ad platforms, such as DoubleClick For Publishers, are now required to construct ads that are HTTPS compliant, though regular HTTP versions do still exist. With Google’s platforms being among the largest advertising platforms on the web, this means others will likely follow suit, eventually leaving non-HTTPS sites high and dry in the area of advertising and monetization. The push for HTTPS ubiquity is strong, and Google intends to keep it that way until the day that all web traffic is secured.