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New York Times adapts to HTTPS amidst new Google guidelines

New York Times is part of the recent wave of publishers to cater to Google?s new protocol by introducing HTTPS for higher security, as the industry continues to shift towards the strategy. 

Google?s deadline for Web site creators to switch to HTTPS protocol, instead of its unsecure counterpart, has come, labeling those without as ?not secure? when users open the page. The news publication has updated its mobile and desktop Web site to do so, which means that users? devices and NY Times? site will trade information through an encrypted code making it more difficult for hackers to infiltrate.  

Google recently announced that as of January 2017 they will be labeling HTTP sites as non-secure," said Alexian Chiavegato, vice president of marketing at Marfeel. "Therefore, moving over to HTTPS is an important factor in have a secure site.

"HTTPS is slowly becoming mandatory in order to adopt new technologies that improve the mobile experience," he said. "Many publishers are also protecting themselves from carriers inserting ads in their pages without any compensation or permission. 

"There have been documented cases where Comcast and AT&T have done this." 

More security 
A substantial number of Web sites have switched over to HTTPS, and even more so since Google?s announcement in September, making those without a secure connection at a loss. 

The new protocol means that users on Google?s browser, Chrome, will now see ?not secure? and ?secure? icons appear, reflecting the site?s coding process. Web sites with HTTPS will feature a green padlock, signifying to users that the site is safe. 

Those without HTTPS will feature a red triangle with an exclamation mark and the words ?Not secure.? 

NY Times announced on its site on Jan. 11 that it has enabled HTTPS, earning it the coveted green padlock. The article walked readers through what this means. 

The publication also mentioned it could not enable HTTPS for all pages but that the most visited pages are covered. The new strategy not only prevents hackers from getting user?s information but it also helps solidify for readers that the site they are on is truly NY Times. 

Many false Web sites will mimic popular platforms to spread fake news or gather information from users. But readers will know they are reading NY Times by seeing the green padlock. 

Going HTTPS also helps Web sites leverage more technology, as many tech platforms are only available to HTTPS. 

NY Times and Google 
The New York Times was also one of the publishers that quickly adopted Google?s Accelerated Mobile Pages Project in the early stages in 2015. The publication attempted to gain more control over readers' experiences following a period of significant upheaval caused by growing smartphone use. 

Since the immersion of mobile devices, it has become a publishing norm for consumers to interact with content from various platforms and sources steps away from the original publisher. The adoption of mobile web viewing is mainstream, the experience has not yet been streamlined and can still be clunky and slow, which is what Google is eliminating with its AMP. 

The NY Times believes it is helping to serve its content to interested consumers in a more optimized format (see more). 

"Readers shouldn't see any noticeable changes, at least in terms of performance and user experience," Mr. Chiavegato said. "However, for a site that requires any kind of transaction of financial data, and I believe NY Times is one because they have a paywall for subscriptions, readers will have the peace-of-mind of an added security layer and the strengthened protection that HTTPS provides. 

"Long term - within a year - the reader will see 'sleek' experience like a Google AMP and progressive web app experience," he said.