It’s no secret that Google and many other large organisations want the internet to be more secure and this means switching from using HTTP to using HTTPS. For a number of years now HTTPS has been used as a ranking factor, albeit a minor one, so there are clear benefits.
If you haven’t switched to HTTPS then now could be the right time to make the change. Browsers such as Google Chrome are planning to mark websites that collect any data as insecure unless they use HTTPS so it will soon become a necessity for all types of websites.
Reasons to make the switch
One of the most important reasons to make the switch to HTPPS is to do with security and the protection that it offers for both your business and your customers. The data sent using HTTPS is secured via Transport Layer Security (TLC) which offers the following protection:
One of the quirks of analytics software such as Google Analytics is that HTTPS to HTTP referral data is blocked. This means that if you’ve got a big site that uses the HTTPS protocol which is sending a lot of traffic to your site you won’t be able to see this data in your analytics. This traffic would show up as direct traffic meaning that the reporting won’t be accurate and you could be missing opportunities for building on your referral traffic.
Encrypting the exchanged data to keep it secure from eavesdroppers. That means that while the user is browsing a website, nobody can “listen” to their conversations, track their activities across multiple pages, or steal their information.
Trust is a big reason to make the move from HTTP to HTTPS as users are more likely to provide information if they think your website is secure. It has been proven in many studies and surveys that websites that are secure and show the green padlock symbol are trusted by customers.
Any data that is sent during the transfer process from your server to the client’s browser cannot be modified or corrupted, intentionally or otherwise, without being detected.
Proves that your users communicate with the intended website. It protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and builds user trust, which translates into other business benefits.
Currently there is a small rankings boost for making the switch to HTTPS as this is used as a ranking signal. But as adoption becomes more widespread we’d expect to see the rankings increases become more substantial.
Should you switch?
A lot of people think that transferring their website to HTTPS makes their website safe and protects it from being hacked but this is not the case. If you’re website is using HTTPS it could still be vulnerable to attacks that include: SSL/TLS vulnerabilities, brute force attacks, DDOS attacks and website hacking.
Even if your website doesn’t handle sensitive user information it still makes sense to make the switch to HTTPS. And with prices for security certificates coming down in price; upgrading your website doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Only you can decide if you should switch but based on where things are heading we think now’s the time to start looking into it.