In today’s digital age, websites have become one of the most critical aspects of any business. A website is not only the primary source of information about a company, but it is also the primary means of communication between the business and its customers. However, in the era of increasing online fraud, security has become a crucial aspect of websites. To enhance the security of their websites, businesses are using HTTPS more often. But, why is HTTPS vital, and how does it affect SEO? In this article, we will discuss the importance of HTTPS for SEO and website security.
What is HTTPS?
HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. It is a protocol used to secure and encrypt data transfer between a user’s browser and a website server. HTTPS provides an added layer of security over the traditional HTTP protocol. HTTPS encrypts the exchanged data, making it impossible for third parties to access the transmitted information.
Importance of HTTPS for website security
As mentioned earlier, security is among the most significant concerns for websites in today’s digital world. Therefore, HTTPS is paramount for the following reasons.
HTTPS verifies a website’s identity by confirming that the website visited is genuinely the one the user intended to access. The HTTPS protocol includes a secure SSL/TLS- (Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security) encrypted connection between the user’s browser and server, which protects against data tampering and server impersonation.
Data Integrity and Encryption
The SSL/TLS encryption ensures that the data exchanged between the user’s browser and the webserver can not read, modified, or corrupted by any unauthorized third party. This ensures that sensitive data like credit card information, passwords, and any other form of data exchange between the browser and the webserver are kept private.
Protection Against Phishing and Malware Attacks
HTTPS protects against phishing attacks by verifying that the website being accessed is authentic. HTTPS enabled websites display a padlock icon to confirm the authenticity of the website visited. Additionally, HTTPS protects against malware attacks by ensuring that only secure files are being transferred, thus avoiding malware invasion by hackers.
Importance of HTTPS for SEO
HTTPS does not only boost website security but has a direct impact on SEO as well. HTTPS is an essential aspect of ranking algorithms for search engines like Google. The following reasons explain the importance of HTTPS for SEO.
Google prioritizes the security of its users. Therefore, HTTPS enabled websites have a more preferred ranking position than HTTP only websites. HTTPS enabled websites always come first in organic search results in comparison with HTTP only websites.
Lower Bounce Rate
HTTPS enabled websites have a lower bounce rate than HTTP only websites. Users are more likely to stay on a website that exhibits the essential security features, thus reducing the bounce rate. A lower bounce rate increases engagement and time spent on a website, which results in better page ranking.
Increased Referral Data
Referral data from HTTPS sites to HTTP websites is blocked. Therefore, website owners with HTTP websites are unable to determine the source of some traffic. In contrast, HTTPS enabled websites can pass referral data to HTTP websites. Therefore, HTTPS enabled websites possess a valuable data advantage over HTTP enabled websites.
Is it essential to switch to HTTPS?
Yes. It is imperative to switch as Google penalizes HTTP websites. An HTTPS enabled website is perceived as more secure, and as a result, receives priority in ranking algorithms. Additionally, it gives users confidence in your website’s security, which enhances their browsing experience.
What is an SSL certificate?
An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is a protocol used to encrypt data transfer between a user’s browser and the webserver. SSL ensures that the exchanged data is secure and encrypted, making it impossible for third parties to access the transmitted information.
How do I switch to HTTPS?
The switch is straightforward. You will need an SSL certificate, which you can acquire through your hosting provider or a third-party supplier. After installing the SSL certificate on your webserver, you will then configure your website’s URLs to HTTPS. You can also use the “HTTPS Everywhere” browser extension to switch to HTTPS automatically.
In conclusion, HTTPS and SSL/TLS encryption protocols are crucial for website security and SEO. HTTPS enhances the security of your users’ data, thus providing them with confidence in your website’s security. Additionally, HTTPS-enabled websites enjoy preferential ranking on search engine result pages, which translates to increased organic traffic and better SEO ranking. Finally, with the rise in cybercrime, SSL/TLS encryption, and HTTPS protocols will become a necessity rather than an option.