If you own a website or you work for a company that provides website development, SEO, and other related services, you must have heard the term- HTTPS.
Well, it has been quite a time when this term was introduced to the internet. So, most of you might be knowing some or a lot about it.
For those who have only of heard it, and wondering “What the hell is this HTTPS?” and “What that extra ‘S’ mean?”- it’s a technology that encrypts your connection to a website with an extra layer called as SSL. And that ‘S’ stands for SSL- the Secure Sockets Layer.
It would take a whole article to describe what is HTTPS and how does it work. Let’s just adopt the old school way- Read it on Wikipedia.
So, apart from what it actually means, there are many reasons that we have identified for why should just immediately acquire the SSL certificate and enable the HTTPS on your site.
5 reasons to enable HTTPS right now
1. HTTPS is good for SEO
Just imagine two sites battling for getting on the top position in the Google SERP for a user’s query. Google with all its algorithms checks everything and there it comes- a tie between the two.
HTTPS comes like tie-breaker in this situation. That’s what Garry Illyes of Google explains– “If all quality signals are equal for two results, then the one that is on HTTPS would get … or may get … the extra boost that is needed to trump the other result”
Brings us to the fact that Google always keeps changing its algorithms to make the results more relevant and useful. However, there is one more thing that Google takes as the top priority- user experience. Relevance indeed improves the user experience but it would also not be a good one if Google sends the users to a site which is not secure- without SSL.
So, most of the times HTTPS site always get a favor from the search engines like Google. That’s why my next point makes a sense regarding the user experience.
Did you know?
40% of Google Search Results on Page 1 are HTTPS
2. It’s Good for user privacy
Do you remember any hacking incident recently in which thousands or millions of user information were stolen? There are too many to remember. In 2015 alone data breaches were increased by about 29.5 %.
What’s SSL doing in all this?
SSL prevents the website from suffering from “man-in-the-middle attack”. A man-in-the-middle attack is a situation when an unauthorized third-party user monitors the communication between the two users and can also modify the messages before delivering them to the target user.
SSL prevents the sites from such unauthorized monitoring. That means the sites asking for crucial user information like credit card details, user bio-data should necessarily implement SSL to prevent the data theft.
For any website, users’ privacy is important and HTTPS helps in maintaining the privacy. With so many hacking and data theft incidents reported in the past, no user will trust a site that can be compromised.
3. AMP requires SSL
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a Google-backed project that aims at providing specific tools and guidelines for creating optimized and mobile-friendly web pages. AMP pages load quickly on the mobile pages and display the contents in a more personalized view for the mobile devices.
Have you noticed the lightning bolt sign on Google’s search pages while searching on your smartphone?
That’s the sign for AMP enabled pages. Google notifies the users with that bolt sign that this page loads faster as it is AMP enabled.
The whole idea behind introduction to the AMP project is to explain how mobile optimization is a priority now. AMP plays a crucial role in SEO where AMP enabled pages get a preference over the non-AMP pages (of course all the signals used by Google is also considered).
Want to use AMP now?
Hold your horses, because AMP requires SSL. You cannot enable the AMP pages on your site without enabling the HTTPS. So, it is definitely a strong reason for adopting SSL right, if you want to improve your ranking suing the Google AMP.
4. Google recommends HTTPS in mobile first indexing
The announcement of Mobile-first-indexing by Google in last November created a lot of buzz in the SEO world. Google announced that they have started testing an algorithm, which will change the whole modus operand of crawling the web pages by Google. It will index the mobile pages first even if you have a separate desktop site. The overall ranking (on mobile as well as desktop) would depend on how Google sees your mobile site.
This update is not live yet, but would surely hit the floor anytime sooner. The bottom line is Google wants you to completely go mobile and focus on the mobile experience more than ever.
But in order to make your mobile site indexable by this update, Google recommends several best practices. For a starter, one of the best practices clearly specifies “start by migrating to a secure site,” especially “if [you] don’t support HTTPS yet.”
So, yes, if you are working to make your website optimized for the upcoming mobile-first-indexing, you should enable the SSL right now.
5. Users don’t trust the Red padlock- they trust green
From January 2017, Google chrome received an update after which it started displaying “Not Secure” message in URL box. This message is displayed on the URLs of those websites which are not secured by the SSL certificate.
That means the URL of any site with the missing “S” in the HTTP section would be shown in “Red” color with a “Not Secure” message, indicating it’s not safe to browse this site. While the sites secured with SSL would show the Green color “https://” section indicating it’s safe to browse this site.
Just imagine if a user lands on your eCommerce site with an intention to purchase a product, and suddenly the red-colored ‘not secure’ message blinks in the URL. Would the user be confident enough to provide his/her credit card details and complete the checkout? Worse, even the checkout page would show as “not secure”.
A survey suggests that only 3% of shoppers would provide their credit card information on a site that does not show the Green color sign.
I don’t know about you, but I am from the rest 97% who would not shop on a site that shows the Red color padlock.
– Want your SEO to thrive on desktop as well as mobile search,
– Don’t want to loose your revenue because of Red padlock,
– Want to acquire security of information on your site, and
– Want to create happy customers with a safe and trustworthy site,
you should get the HTTPS enabled right now”.