What is HTTPS?

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS ) is the secure version of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). It is well-used for secure communication over a computer network even widely used on the Internet.

Updated on: 2022-04-26

Name: Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure

Referred to as: HTTPS

Category: Technical SEO

Correct Use: n/a

HTTPS = Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure

Our take:

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is used for secure communication over a computer network and widely used on Internet security. Websites that configure an SSL/TLS certificate can use the HTTPS protocol to maintain a secure connection with the server.

HTTP vs HTTPS

When we type in a URL in the search bar, the browser asks the site for its IP address – for instance, 172.67.195.8. This IP is the actual address that defines the unique site. So when anyone  wants to log in to a site that they connect to via HTTP, the data we enter – username and password – is sent in plain text. 

HTTPS simply secures this process. It mainly encrypts the connection between the browser and the site. Every site that wants to secure them needs an  SSL certificate. The browser is responsible for checking the certificate and verifies it.

How does HTTPS benefit the users?

Every internet user has the right to privacy on the web. HTTPS specially ensures the user security of individual sites who are already well configured with them. So, now it’s become more popular to sift in HTTPS specially for providing better user benefits. 

How does HTTPS benefit SEO?

In 2014, Google clearly announced that HTTPS would play a significant role in ranking signals. So, we can easily predict that activating an SSL certificate is going to give our site a slight ranking boost. 

But it’s not only about ranking factors that also ensures better user experience and maintains trust with our users. In 2018, with the release of version 68 of the Chrome browser, Google started defining all HTTP sites as “not secure”. Several other browsers also followed their lead. 

Without enabling HTTPS connection of any site, these “not secure” messages are visible for users. It will be alarming to lose your user and also may be the reason for the increasing bounce rate of your site.  

Extra reading

Do:

To ensure proper user safety of your website, there is no alternative to shift your site HTTPS from HTTP. Because security is always a top priority for Google.

Don’t:

Don’t neglect your users’ security. Be careful to ensure HTTPS configuration of your site to drive the next level of SEO score.

Tip:

Here are some basic tips which provide google to get started:

  • Decide the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate
  • Use 2048-bit key certificates
  • Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
  • Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
  • Check out our Site move article for more guidelines on how to change your website’s address
  • Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt

Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the no index robots meta tag

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Introduced:

In 2014, Google clearly announced that HTTPS would become a ranking signal.

What Google Says: HTTPS as a ranking signal

What experts say: