HTTPS is an extension of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), designed to provide secure communication over the Internet. It uses encryption technologies, such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS), to establish an encrypted connection between a user’s browser and the server hosting the website. This secure connection protects sensitive data from unauthorized access, ensuring data privacy and integrity (1)
The SEO Importance of HTTPS
In 2014, Google announced that it would use HTTPS as a ranking signal, emphasizing the importance of online security for websites (2). HTTPS websites benefit from a minor ranking boost, demonstrating Google’s commitment to promoting secure websites and user trust. A secure website reduces the risk of data breaches and cyberattacks, making it more attractive to search engines and users (3).
User Experience and Trust
The user experience is a critical factor for SEO. HTTPS improves the user experience by offering a secure browsing environment, increasing user trust in your website. Google Chrome, for example, displays a “Not Secure” warning for non-HTTPS websites, which can negatively impact user trust and potentially deter visitors from engaging with your site (4).
Website Speed and Performance
HTTPS also contributes to a website’s overall speed and performance, another crucial factor for SEO. Research shows that HTTPS websites load faster than their non-secure counterparts, providing users with a better browsing experience and making them more likely to stay on your site.
How to Implement HTTPS?
To upgrade your website to HTTPS, you must obtain an SSL certificate from a Certificate Authority (CA) and install it on your web server. After installing the SSL certificate, ensure that all internal and external links are updated to use HTTPS, and set up 301 redirects to redirect HTTP URLs to their HTTPS counterparts (4).
The benefits of HTTPS extend beyond just security. It is vital in enhancing the user experience, building trust, and improving search rankings. Upgrading to HTTPS should be a priority for website owners and digital marketers who want to stay competitive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.