HTML is an internet protocol that encrypts data between a user’s browser and the website to avoid data leakage.
It’s used to protect online banking transactions and online shopping orders as a more secure alternative to HTTP. Due to this, many e-commerce and sensitive sites use HTTPS.
What is HTTPS and what does it do?
Using HTTPS, an eavesdropper cannot access private information because the TLS protocol secures the connection. The Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol encrypts private information and verifies the security of the server, ensuring that no unauthorized persons are diverting data over the internet.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is often referred to as TLS. In recent years, SSL has been replaced by TLS after many upgrades. You will receive your browser’s TLS certificate when you access a website with HTTPS. In order to initiate a secure session, this certificate must contain a public key. Once the connection between you and the website has been set up, your browser and the website establish a unique secure connection.
A padlock icon will appear in the address bar of many browsers including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari when an HTTPS connection is active.
Why HTTPS is important for SEO
HTTPS offers several SEO benefits in addition to ensuring the security of website visitors:
Improve your ranking
As opposed to HTTP, Google is now recommending HTTPS connections for all websites. Google announced in 2014 that HTTPS will now be regarded as a ranking factor.
It’s likely, however, that HTTPS alone won’t have much of an impact on rankings. The best way to improve rankings is to look at all ranking signals together.
Enhance referrer data accuracy
If direct traffic passes between a secure HTTPS and non-secure HTTP site, referral data is lost and direct traffic appears in the Analytics reporting instead. Consequently, your SEO agency or you will have inaccurate traffic statistics as a result.
Whenever traffic passes through an HTTPS secure site, which may be a secure site or an insecure site, analytics will accurately record referral information.
HTTPS and its challenges
Although moving to HTTPS has many benefits, there are also a number of potential drawbacks:
Page loading speed
A slower page loading speed can be caused by HTTPS, which requires more communication between servers. In addition to causing a poor user experience, Google also ranks pages based on loading speed. A number of things can be done to reduce this effect, however, by your SEO agency.
When migrating a site, ranking fluctuations may occur
Migrations from HTTP to HTTPS are treated by Google as URL changes with a site move. Consequently, during the re-crawl and re-indexing process, your rankings may fluctuate.
Do I need HTTPS?
Websites accepting payments or requiring confidential information from users should use HTTPS for security reasons. HTTPS is not always necessary for small websites, especially if the most information you obtain is emails to add to mailing lists. In addition, HTTPS offers additional SEO benefits.
You can ask your SEO agency for assistance if you are unsure whether your website needs HTTPS. We can help you set up HTTPS if you decide to implement it.