Mixed content is the term used to describe a range of website assets which are served insecurely via HTTP on a website which itself is served via a secure HTTPS connection and until now only those who really look for this issue are really aware of it.

Topics

  1. What this means for you
  2. What is an asset or subresource
  3. Wider digital marketing risks

To many businesses and end users this may not seem like the end of the world. So what if an image isn't secure, well in a world where mallicious code can be embedded in WhatsApp videos or a normal looking JPG image, security is vital in protecting people online.

Moving forwards, many of us will more likely start to become aware of it. Earlier this month Google Chrome announced that from version 82 they will be starting to raise warnings to users about websites with moxed content and this follows on from an annoucement by Chromium last year that this would happen. Below is a diagram showing the timescales for the implementation.

What this means for you

Whether you run a blog or a major e-commerce website, you need to be sure that all of your content is loaded securely to prevent your audience being shown warnings about your website. In short, all assets should be loaded over a HTTPS connection.

What does an "asset" or "subresource" mean

An asset or sub-resource is anything which your website loads outside of the core code, fro example:

  • Script files
  • Images
  • PDFs
  • Videos
  • Audio
  • CSS

This could have a big impact on websites which use third party plugins, as the reliance will be on the plugin creators to serve assets securely, but there is also a dependancy on website owners to update their website.

Any Other risks?

While we can never be sure, it's fair to assume that there is the potential for an impact on search visibility for any website which doesn't act. This may not be a direct one in the form of penalty, but perhaps indirectly by way of a website seeing increased bounce rates or reduced engagement following the introduction of warnings. The impact of these metrics may also not be limited to search engine optimisation, consider that many similar factors also apply to your PPC quality score and any changes could increase your costs or reduce the effectiveness of landing pages.