HTTPS over SEO is highly important. In late 2014, Google announced that “HTTPS websites would receive a small ranking signal” which was merely 1% or even less compare to other ranking factors. Due to that, initially its importance was underestimated. But gradually, in next few years, statistics were getting alarming and showing that most of the highly ranked websites in Google search are all belong to HTTPS category. To have a better understanding of this, it’s important to know the basic difference between HTTP and HTTPS and what benefits HTTPS brings in general to your website’s search engine optimization.
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Let’s get a quick overview about HTTP? Hypertext transfer protocol is a system that is used to send and receive information between the browser and the web server. It is referred to as ‘stateless’, meaning that it does not try to remember anything to do with the previous web session. Unfortunately, HTTP is not secure and are always at risk of data breach from third parties. HTTPS is almost same as HTTP, but with an extra layer of security. HTTPS is equipped with the SSL – Secure Sockets Layer, to monitor and transfer data safely between the browser and the web server. SSL encrypts data being transferred between two parties, provides authentication for users, and ensures that data are not corrupted or altered during transmission process.
Now back to our topic related to SEO benefits of HTTPS.
First and foremost, Increase Ranking. After Google announcement in 2014, although it is a soft signal of ranking boost but when two websites with same technical specifications and content relevance, Google will definitely prefer the HTTPS one.
Secondly, Warning message in Chrome Browser. In the latest version of chrome, when it finds the website without HTTPS, it starts showing warning message for security. To retain customer trust on your website, you should implement HTTPS, regardless whether it is a small WordPress website or big eCommerce portal. Better customer retention on your website definitely produce better SEO result.
Thirdly, Referrer Data. The secured information will be preserved when traffic passes to an HTTPS site, and it can be appearing as Direct Traffic.
Fourth, AMP – Accelerated Mobile Pages. Nowadays, the mobile internet users are more than desktop ones. With Google’s new mobile search index, it gives preferences for AMP and in order to convert webpages to AMP, Google requires websites to be equipped with HTTPS, to have a best organic mobile ranking.
Last but not the least, Faster Browsing experience. In order to website speed optimization, your website should support the latest upgraded version of HTTP which is HTTP/2. It drastically speeds up your website load time. HTTPS is the backbone of HTTP/2 and without having that, HTTP/2 will not work.
So as per my suggestions, the clear conclusion here is that HTTPS is not only good for security but also for referrer data, page loading speed and other SEO strategies. When looking at the issue holistically and considering the future of what Google is likely to do with HTTPS, I recommend switching over to HTTPS, ASAP, to cope with the upcoming Google’s future Algorithms.
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