HTTP vs HTTPS – SEO Advantages of HTTPS


Have you ever noticed the green padlock icon in the address bar of your web browser while browsing any website?? That is the visually indication of that a HTTPS connection is in effect. A web address without a green padlock is a HTTP connection.

For website owners…

No matter what you prefer—being a website owner you need to provide extra security for all the personal detail that users share with your website like credit card details, online bank details etc.

A good online browsing experience involves the additional security you provide to your customers that cannot be decrypted by hackers.

That is what Google is looking for – provide a secure browsing experience for the web users. Hence favors the websites that are more concern about the security in the World Wide Web.

In order to understand how to achieve this and better understand why Google favors secured websites, it’s important to first understand the difference between HTTP and HTTPS.

This article explains the details about the two options: Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Security (HTTPS) 

What is HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol)?

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (http) is an application layer protocol for transmitting and receiving information across the Internet. The main focus here is to transfer the data speedily from one place to another but it does not care about the security of the data that is transmitted. This data transmitting through HTTP protocol can be easily hacked if someone breaks into your internet connection.

Basically the HTTP is used for connecting plain html pages where the website does not ask for any confidential information (such as credit card information etc.).

What is HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure)?

Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP. Here the protocol works with additional layer of security to data. The ‘S’ at the end of HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’. That means when we send or receive any data through the network connection the data get another layer of encryption which make it tough for the hackers to de-encrypt the data in any case if they break into the connect between your computer and internet. HTTPS is often used to protect highly confidential online transactions like online banking and online shopping order forms where we share the personal information.

That is why HTTPS really offers the best of both worlds: Caring about what the user sees visually, but also having an extra layer of security when moving the data from one place to another in the internet.

HTTPS pages generally use two types secure protocols to encrypt data transmission – Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS). SSL and TLS are protocols for managing the secure communications between a web server and a web browser; it works by encrypting data such as credit card numbers, passwords, logins, etc. Banks and online merchants use SSL to maintain the security of their websites.

If you sell products or services directly from your site and allow electronic payment methods then it is a good idea to have SSL; it inculcates self-assurance in your customers by making them feel secure to use their debit or credit cards on your website.

What is a HTTPS certificate?

When you ask for a HTTPS connection to a web server or a webpage in the internet, the initial process starts with the website that sends the SSL certificate to your web browser. The certificate contains a public key to begin the secure connection between the send and receive point that initiates the ‘SSL handshake’. The SSL handshake involves the generation of shared secrets to establish a uniquely secure connection between your personal computer and the website.

When a trusted SSL Digital Certificate is used during a HTTPS connection, users will see a padlock icon in the browser address bar. When an Extended Validation Certificate is installed on a web site, the address bar will turn green.

Why Is an SSL Certificate Required?

All communications sent over through regular HTTP connections are just done in plain text, so any one manages to break into the connection between your browser and the internet will able to read your data. With a HTTPS connection, all communications are securely encrypted. This means that even if somebody managed to break into the connection, they would not be able decrypt any of the data which passes between you and the website.

The major benefits of a HTTPS certificate are:

  • Customer information, like log in ids, passwords, bank information, credit card numbers, is encrypted and cannot be intercepted by hacker easily
  • HTTPS is a ranking factor in search engine optimization process.
  • Visitors can verify you are a registered business and that you own the domain hence trust you and complete purchases

SEO Advantages of Switching to HTTPS

HTTPS is important as it helps reduce the chances of “hackers snooping or trying to seize and access your customers’ data” as it moves between the internet server and your computer or vice versa.

With HTTPS it can be guaranteed that the site will encrypt their information for that extra level of security.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Google prefers sites that are trusted and certified.

Considering the benefits of HTTPS and to make the internet a secure place Google has announced that going HTTPS — adding a SSL certificate on your site — will give you a ranking boost.

Google has also updated Google Webmaster Tools to better handle HTTPS sites and the reporting on them.

If your website is already serving on HTTPS, you can test its security level and configuration with the Qualys Lab tool.

Where to buy an SSL Certificate?

There are lots of SSL certificate providers available in the market, but I suggest you SSL2BUY for buying an SSL certificate for your website.SSL2BUY is an authorized re-seller of leading certificate authorities like GeoTrust, Comodo, Thawte, AlphaSSL, RapidSSL, GlobalSign and Symantec.

They claims to provide cheapest same value certificates than certificate authorities. All certificates from SSL2BUY supports up to 256 bit encryption with more than 99% browser recognition as well you will get some additional advantages like free 24*7 tech and installation support, fast issuance times and not any additional charge for certificate reissues.

Note for You

HTTPS is not only good for security reasons but also for a better SEO strategy to stay blessed by Google. Apart from helping you website rank better, it also builds the trust among your visitors regarding the security of their personal data they share with your website.

When looking at the issue and considering the future of what Google is likely to do with HTTPS, I recommend to go for HTTPS, as soon as possible to keep up with Google.