In other cases, these tech titans pound on each other for supremacy. Think of what Apple co-founder Steve Jobs did to Adobe’s Flash platform years ago. Slowly, quietly, but steadily, Google is shaping the internet in its own image. It seems as if Google has gone from Do No Evil to Do Know Evil.
Hardware vs. Software
When we compare Apple to Google we need to take note of the intrinsic nature of both technology companies. Apple makes money the old fashioned way. It sells products to customers. Hardware. Google’s revenue and profits come from advertising where you’re not a customer– despite all those free Google applications– you’re a part of the product because the search engine giant captures and sells information about you and your online habits.
Google is the most powerful, most used, most popular search engine entity on planet earth and wields that power accordingly. Websites can grow or prosper with good Google search engine rankings, or die on the vine. Starting later this summer Google plans to label insecure websites in its Chrome browser. If the website does not adhere to so-called secure SSL standards (https vs. http in the URL scheme) the site will be marked in Chrome as Not Secure.
One can understand the need for such browser to website security in ecommerce or any website that captures viewer information. The trend toward secure sites based up the SSL protocol– the s in https means secure– is unstoppable and mostly a good thing but such security and devalued rankings and the Not Secure monicker from Google also means trouble for tens of millions of smaller websites which have no need to be so secure.
Google’s campaign to call out HTTP websites as unsafe began in 2014, with the search giant ramping up the effort in September 2016, when it told users Chrome 56 would shame pages that didn’t encrypt password or credit card form fields. Chrome 56 debuted in late January 2017, and immediately started to apply the “Not secure” label to pertinent pages.
Now Google is back to push the internet toward a more secure future.
Chrome will insert a “Not secure” label into the address bar of every website that uses HTTP connections between its servers and users. Sites that instead rely on HTTPS to encrypt the back-and-forth traffic will display their URLs normally in the address bar.
Those websites that do not– the vast majority of websites you visit when connected to the internet– will be branded as Not Secure even if there is nothing on the website that needs to be secure. Mac360, for example, is a basic text site whereby SSL and https://mac360.com will have little benefit for readers.
Google’s Chrome is the most used browser on the planet and wields enormous influence. Keizer:
That user share has enormous sway over all sites, a club and carrot that Google constantly wields. No site wants to give all those Chrome users the impression that it’s unsafe, and to be avoided. As a result, many sites have fallen in line with Google’s demand that the web go all-in on HTTPS.
Static page websites will have to jump through expensive hoops to comply with Google’s ultimatum or risk downgraded search engine results and the Not Secure monicker, even if there is nothing on the website that requires a secure connection between website and Chrome.
As much as the world needs more security on the internet, and it does, the world could use more competition with Google so the search engine giant does not become the arbiter of what is right and wrong.