You might be familiar with HTTP and HTTPS if you use the internet regularly. Back in 2014, Google recommended sites to switch to HTTPS. Back then, most websites were using HTTP other than some e-commerce websites. As time changed, Google announced a minor reward for the website which switches to HTTPS.
As a result, some websites changed to most secured HTTPS to get a consideration while ranking.
Webmasters sometimes do things just to please Google without knowing the actual fact behind it. They may not be aware of the term and facts associated with that change. But it is important to know about it well before switching to HTTPS and benefits associated with it.
To provide a better user-experience, websites usually do everything. Among them converting to HTTPS encryption is on the top of the list. Before knowing more about the importance of HTTPS, you need to understand the difference between HTTP and HTTPS
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is a system that is used for transmitting information across the internet. This mainly focuses on how the information is showing to use and will not consider how data gets from one point to another. It is also known as stateless because it won’t store any previous data or web session. It mainly accesses the HTML page and many other resources.
Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS) is a secured transaction. The main difference between HTTP and HTTPS is the security between exchanging information. When websites mainly want to transfer data securely, they use HTTPS. Both HTTP and HTTPS work similarly because both follow almost the same protocol. This extra security layer is achieved because of the SSL certificate which uses while moving data. So, mainly HTTPS is used when data needs to be transferred from one point to another securely
Difference between HTTP and HTTPS:
The main difference between both of them is the SSL certificate. So, we can say that HTTPS is HTTP with an additional security layer. It is important to use HTTPS on the website to transfer secure data. In addition to SSL certificate, HTTPS is also secured using an extra layer called TLS(Transport Security level) protocol.
You can see this protocol in the first part of a web address. For example, if the web address is www.example.com, you can see it on the search engine at https//:www.example.com. Mainly HTTPS is beneficial for a sensitive website which does the financial transaction or includes some personal information of users.
Is HTTPS Good for SEO?
Google prefers a trusted website always. It already declared that there is a small ranking advantage for websites who transfers to HTTPS. SEO is all about convincing Google about the quality of the contents of your website. Google wants to provide security to its users and as a part, it started to penalize the websites without SSL certificate.
Website with HTTPS will get preference from Google while ranking it. Data analysts also claim that URL with HTTPS certification have more weight in ranking. It is protected by 3 layers
- Encrypt the data exchange and keep the data safely
- Data modification or corruption is not possible on the way while transferring
- Authentication proves that users communicate with the website while transferring data
So, we can say that Google gives a small ranking preference to websites with a secured protocol. But it is very less compared to another ranking factor. It may change eventually as a part of ensuring complete data security. Users can trust websites with HTTPS certification and can do even financial transaction without any tension now.
How HTTPS Affects SEO?
From the data given above you already know that HTTPS can help you to improve search engine ranking from Google’s statement. This is very good news for webmasters who decide to switch over from HTTP to HTTPS. Here are some SEO benefits you can earn by switching to HTTPS.
Google already confirmed that it is giving extra consideration to the HTTPS website while ranking. It is not strong as other ranking signal but there is something positive about HTTPS websites while ranking. Also, there is a chance to increase the importance of website security in coming future. The main reason behind it is that Google wants to ensure complete security to its users by showing some secure website for them to search the information they want
HTTPS site ensures the protection of referral data while transferring it from one point to another. But when it comes to HTTP websites it is not the process that happens. Data will get taken away from it and it will look at the data as direct without any referral.
Adds security and privacy:
HTTPS adds more security to your website which ensures more users to visit your website. Users want to feel secure when they visit a website. It can be achieved by switching your website to HTTPS. Other than securing information, it prevents interfering by a third-party website, encrypt all data transferring through your website like personal information’s, credit card details, etc and protect it
Can use AMP:
When you want to use Accelerated mobile page (AMP) then the website should have an SSL certificate. AMP created by Google to ensure fast loading of webpages on mobile devices. So, if you want to use AMP feature on your website it is better to switch your website to HTTPS. Mobile usability is more nowadays and most internet users use their mobile device to search a website. It is always better to ensure mobile usability and fast loading by implementing AMP feature on your website which can also affect the SEO of your website.
Do SSL Certificates Affect Search Rankings?
SSL (Secure Socket Layers) certificate is an additional protection layer that every website owner can implement to their website. It ensures complete protection of data while transferring between web browsers and servers. If a website decided to get SSL certificate it means that they want to offer complete protection of their user’s data. Google always values website which can offer complete protection to user data. Also, it gives a small consideration for those websites while transferring data.
Without a valid SSL certificate, a website cannot offer complete protection of user’s data. Such websites may not get trust from users. So, if you want to gain users’ as well as Google’s trust then try to implement SSL certification to your website.
HTTPS and SEO – Switching Benefits:
A small boost in search engine ranking:
We can say that SSL certificate can help you to boost the search engine rankings. Google considers websites with SSL certification superior to other websites which do not have this security. It is very hard to say the real impact of having a website with an SSL certificate on ranking. But even if your website possesses many quality backlinks it may not get preference while ranking without having an SSL certificate.
We can say that with all other factors of ranking a website SSL certificate is also important. Google won’t consider a website which is well maintained with all other ranking factors and no protection of data. So, don’t think it as a minor factor that affects your website ranking. It has a powerful impact to get your website ranked higher when combined with all other ranking factors.
Improved User experience:
Every website works to offer a better user experience by various means. It could be by increasing loading speed, mobile usability, good quality contents, and many more. Offering complete protection to users is another option for the website to provide a better user experience. To offer the security of their information websites can switch to HTTPS. It comes with an extra layer of data protection.
When a user lands to a webpage and wants to fill their personal information in a form then Google will alert if the website is not secure. It makes the user leave your website and may affect your website ranking also. This indirect effect of having an unencrypted website may affect your website traffic and thereby ranking. To improve ranking, you can concentrate on providing an encrypted website with other factors that can improve the user experience.
HTTP to HTTPS Migration:
Now that you got a clear idea about the benefits of HTTPS websites. What are you waiting for? If your website is not protected then do it fast. Follow the steps given below and switch your HTTP website to HTTPS. It is very easy to make your website secure for users. It can take some time to finish that task but easy to follow.
- Decide the type of SSL certificate you need to install. Your hosting company may provide many types of SSL certificates. See the features of each of them and decide the type of certificate you want to install on your website
- Install the SSL certificate on your hosting account and configure it properly
- While installing an SSL certificate, you need to make sure to back up all the data of your website for a precaution. If anything, happen to your installation process all your data will be safe because of backing up
- Check your website and see any internal link has HTTP format. If it’s there you need to change it to HTTPS. Also, you need to make a change to your website’s sitemap
- While installing SSL certificate make sure to go through your website template and update the reference to images and scripts
- Also, update robots.txt of your website so that search engine crawlers index your website accordingly. It will include the updated sitemaps as a result
- Change the external links so that they also remain secure
- Check the content delivery Network (CDN) and change its SSL settings
- Landing page and paid search links website should be changed to HTTPS
- You can also scrawl your old URLs and links to see whether any broken links present or not
- Update old redirects and implement 301 redirects throughout your website
- Don’t forget to change the HSTS which will tell the browser that your website is HTTPS
- By enabling OCSP stapling you can tell the browser that your website has an SSL certificate. Sometime it will cross-reference with your certificate provider to ensure the security of your website
All the above steps will help to make your installation easy. One small error in installation may cause data loss. So, while doing this you need to be extra careful. Update about the change to every part of your website you can. HTTPS has already become an important factor which can help with your website ranking. Don’t consider that with HTTP your website will get the same preference as a website with HTTPS.
So, no need to think twice about the price and effort associated with installing your website. Do anything that can be beneficial to your website ranking. Make sure to back up data before installing the SSL certificate to avoid any data loss. That is a very important point to keep in your mind if you are switching from HTTP to HTTPS.
You got the difference between HTTP and HTTPS from this article. No need to think twice to change the encryption of your website. Google supports secure website and anyone can make their website secure by offering an extra layer of protection. SSL certificate helps to transfer data securely from your website to a server.
This ensures complete protection of your website data and also the data users enter into your website. Wherever a financial transaction is involved it is better to have an HTTPS.