HTTP to HTTPS: An SEOs guide to securing a website

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Back when we wrote a article, Why Everyone Should Be Moving To HTTP/2, it was meant to bring recognition to an awesome protocol ascent which we thought was an easy win to have a website faster.

Since then, we have oral to hundreds of business owners as well as SEOs about upgrading, performeddozens of upgrades as well as troubleshot dozens more. we have realized which there is still one big hurdle for both business owners as well as SEOs: HTTPS. The gotcha moment with HTTP/2 is which most browsers only await this new protocol over a secure connection, which equates to we have to migrate your website to HTTPS.

It shouldnt come as a shock to any one which Google as well as most others want a web to be some-more secure. Google had their HTTPS everywhere campaign, they announced HTTPS as a ranking signal, as well as they have started indexing secure pages over unsecured pages. They even have their own guide, Securing Your Website With HTTPS, which we encourage everyone to read, along with this article.

Yet with all of this push towards a some-more secure web, a actuality remains:Less than 0.1% of websites have been secure.

It seems like everyone is trying to have it as easy as possible to switch by removing barriers to entry, such as cost. Lets Encrypt offers free certificates (Sidenote: we am very amused which Google Chrome has a only nofollow upon their paid sponsorship link after being called out.) Many website hosts as well as CDNs have been also offering free confidence certificates to encourage people to have a switch, but most people still arent moving.

Why move to HTTPS?

Google identifies multiform reasons to switch to HTTPS in their website migration guide:

Data sent using HTTPS is secured via Transport Layer Security protocol (TLS), which provides three key layers of protection:

  • Encryption. Encrypting a exchanged data to keep it secure from eavesdroppers. That equates to which while a user is browsing a website, nobody can listen to their conversations, track their activities across multiple pages or steal their information.
  • Data integrity. Data cannot be modified or depraved during transfer, intentionally or otherwise, without being detected.
  • Authentication. Proves which your users communicate with a intended website. It protects against man-in-the-middle attacks as well as builds user trust, which translates in to alternative business benefits.
  • There have been alternative benefits, though, including a Google ranking boost previously mentioned.

    Making a switch to HTTPS also helps with a loss of referral data which happens when a referral value in a header is dropped when switching from a secure website to an unsecured website. Analytics programs attribute traffic without a referral value as direct, which accounts for a large portion of what is called dark traffic.

    The switch also prevents a lot of bad things, such as when AT&T was injecting ads in to their hotspots. They would not have been able to inject these ads upon a website with HTTPS.

    [Read a full essay upon Search Engine Land.]

    Some opinions voiced in this essay may be those of a guest author as well as not indispensably Marketing Land. Staff authors have been listed here.



    (Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)

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