Since 2016, a lot of people were in confusion regarding HTTP v/s HTTPS but Google officially said changing HTTP to HTTPS will benefit in SEO rankings but don’t think it is a very big factor for ranking.
From then many people started shifting to HTTPS, though it is not a big ranking factor still getting a slight edge benefit in search results is good enough.
Now I can read your mind! Just kidding, but I definitely know what questions you may be thinking.
The questions may be, Is HTTPS is good for SEO? How does my search ranking in google impact? Why Google is preferring HTTPS? What are the advantages and disadvantages of HTTPS usage? and many more…
Before diving into the main subject let us understand what is HTTP and what is HTTPS in more detail.
Table of Contents
Understanding HTTP vs HTTPS For Better SEO Ranking
Most of you search daily with queries on Google to get answers and have noticed some sites contain HTTP and some are HTTPS in your browser, have you ever wondered why it is so? Don’t worry we will help you in solving the question.
This is little technical stuff but you need to know basics at least which can help you a lot.
1. What is HTTP?
HTTP stands for (HyperText Transfer Protocol), It is designed in the coded language known as “HyperText Markup Language(HTML)”.
Where HyperText is a series of text document that is linked from one page to another through Hyperlinks, Protocol is the system of rules and regulation for transferring HTML files from one computer to another.
In total HTTP is the protocol to transfer Hyper Text from your local server to the Web Browser which helps web pages to appear and navigate to other pages by clicking through links.
Advantages of HTTP
a) The HTML file is a lightweight and faster loading system, which delivers the content instantly to the readers by opening the file.
b) Web page means it is not only the text, in today’s visual era people prefer to see more images, videos, and other formats, but this individual type is also stored separately hence the speed of loading becomes faster to the receiving computer.
c) HTTP coding is a simple and easy format rather than having strings of variables.
Disadvantages of HTTP
a) The main disadvantage of HTTP is anyone can intercept the data transmitted in text format. For example Cookies, your payment information like debit and credit card numbers, etc.
Hence, I personally recommend you not to use your payment option online with the website having HTTP because between you and the server the third party may hack your details.
2. What is HTTPS?
HTTPS stands for (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) and it is the upgraded version of HTTP. It is a more secure system than HTTP because here one more layer of encryption used to protect your data from hackers.
In HTTPS the Secure is the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), here the main difference is HTTPS doesn’t look the type of data as in HTTP while transferring data, it only acts like a lock and key to secure the data.
How Does HTTPS Actually work?
I will explain you through an example for better understanding:
Let’s say your confidential information is locked in a box by the unique symmetric key which will be sent to the server to store it, then the server tries to open the box using the same key.
If anyone interprets to steal the data, they can get the box before reaching the server this will be a problem, right? Don’t worry we have the solution, SSL certificate solves this problem by closing the box with a public key and opens with a private key only.
The server keeps the private key secretly, so now the unique symmetric key can be put inside the box and lock using the public key and send it to the server and server open it using the private key.
Hence the unique symmetric key will be on the safer side, this is how it works in HTTPS using SSL Certificate but in real-time there will be no box its just an example.
Why is Google giving preference towards HTTPS?
On July 2018 was the deadline given by Google to change from HTTP to HTTPS to secure the data from the hackers, with the new release of Chrome 68 version, after the date the websites or the blogs which are still not updated yet it shows as “not secure” in front of the domain.
There will be no problem with your website but the visitor may feel a lack of trust on your site. So change from HTTP to HTTPS soon.
Benefits of HTTPS over HTTP
a) Trust factor plays a very important role when a visitor lands on your website when HTTPS is visible he trust your site and without fear he will engage with your site.
b) As an SEO ranking factor to consider, until now only 34% adopted the HTTPS and all rest is still HTTP, so you can get a competitive advantage by outranking them by making your first move.
c) Your visitors feel they are viewing in a branded website/blog and they will have no fear putting their information for subscriptions, or payment details for online transactions.
d) Google did not say that if your site does not have the HTTPS it will drop rankings but from the visitor side, only the CTR will go down, hence HTTPS helps in increasing CTR and boost your rankings indirectly.
Do you know there are even Disadvantages for HTTPS, yes true, let us see some important ones.
Disadvantages of HTTPS
There were some problems related to the HTTPS in terms of using a lot of server resources, but this is now got fixed with improvements in the SSL certificates but this should not be the reason for not opting for HTTPS or else you lose the opportunities.
There was another problem too which is related to caching that is also fixed now, no need to worry. The main disadvantages of HTTPS are as follows:
a) Unlike the HTTP, HTTPS is not free you need to purchase the SSL certificate, free is available but it lacks trustworthiness hence you need to select good companies, like Go daddy, Comodo, or any other good hosting companies.
b) Sometimes you may get proxy cache problems when you are using CMS platforms.
These disadvantages you may face if you are having very big sites or blogs, no need to worry for small and medium-sized businesses.
Read the complete guide for beginners and bloggers: What is a Blog?
Finally, after analyzing all the possibilities, I would recommend moving from HTTP to HTTPS to affect your website ranking positively on Google, so get an SSL and make your business grow.
Many researchers in the Digital Marketing Industry has got the result that they can see rank improvements by moving HTTP to HTTPS.
Even Google also releasing a lot of its products in HTTPS because of the safety purpose, with the increasing technological advancement taking precaution is better than cure, really appreciated Google for its initiative to move HTTP to HTTPS for the security of both visitors and website owners.