Since 2022, there has been a marked increase in sites switching from HTTP to HTTPS in Google search results. Why such growth? The HTTPS format is a more secure process, and Google announced this same year, 2020, that it was a factor now considered in its ranking algorithm.
Intending to achieve a 100% secure web, the American firm decided to accelerate further the process of migrating to HTTPS at the end of 2022: Googlers communicate more regularly on the subject by highlighting the positive impact on SEO and, above all, a major Chrome update should report HTTP sites as “unsecured” from January 2020. It is, therefore, essential to be on point if you want to optimize your visibility on the search engine and reassure its users.
As computer language does not speak to everyone, you will find in this article all the information necessary for a good understanding of this protocol and the answer to the questions that you are probably already asking yourself: What are the advantages of the SEO of your site? And above all, how to make this change?
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HTTP & HTTPS, What Are We Talking About?
The HTTP system makes it possible to receive and send data over the Internet: to put. Using devices – such as computers or mobiles – is essential to interact with websites.
HTTPS: What is the difference with the HTTP protocol? Otherwise called Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, the HTTPS process will transmit the data in an encrypted manner to secure the user’s navigation and protect his data. Some sites, for example, use the HTTPS system only on their pages containing private information, such as contact details or passwords.
When you send a classic HTTP request to request a page, the server sends it back, and the browser simply displays it. When sending an HTTPS request, the data exchanged with the site is encrypted, i.e., it is protected and cannot be retrieved and saved by any outside party.
To fight against this “spying” of data, Google encourages sites to switch to HTTPS, giving them a little boost in their positioning.
The Benefits Of Switching To HTTPS
Has The SEO Of Your Site Improved Thanks To HTTPS?
The first five letters of your URLs will be an additional signal for the Google algorithm in its referencing, and the SEO of your pages will indeed be favored if they start with “https.” At least, that’s what the Googlers have been able to announce on several occasions, Gary Illyes in the lead. While some sites have benefited from a good increase in search engines following a switch to HTTPS, others have not seen any significant impact following the migration. If the idea of an “SEO Boost” for HTTPS is not proven in the future, using a site in HTTP could logically send a negative signal.
In any case, the communication used by Google is beginning to bear fruit. According to the Mozcast site, which allows you to observe the evolution of the number of results in HTTPS in the SERPs, the percentage of sites using the secure protocol has increased from 39.5% to 41% over the last 30 days. Namely, they represented 30% of the results in June 2022 and only 7% in 2020, the year when Google announced that HTTPS would be considered in reference sites.
Your Visitors Will Have More Confidence In The Safety Of Your Site
Securing the data transmitted and displaying this little green padlock next to your URL guarantees your users trust: What are they most afraid of on the Internet? Let their data be pirated or simply scammed… and there are many such sites! Thanks to this small symbol, you reassure (consciously or not) your visitors about your authenticity.
How Do I Switch From HTTP To HTTPS?
To be able to display its URLs in “https,” you must obtain an SSL/TLS certificate. SSL, which stands for Secure Sockets Layer, is a protocol for securing internet exchanges, which was subsequently renamed Transport Layer Security. It is possible to buy this certificate from your host or certification authority, provided you prove your identity and that you are the site owner.
Today, it is also possible to go through Let’s Encrypt, a fully secure site that allows these
certificates to be issued for free. The only drawback is that we have no guarantee if a problem arises with HTTPS and a user has his data stolen. However, many players like Facebook or even Google have supported this initiative launched at the end of 2019, and the number of certificates they issue has grown exponentially since then.
Which Certificate To Choose?
In most cases, a certificate issued by LetsEncrypt free of charge is sufficient. Still, in the case of the most important sites, it is preferable to opt for the paid option, which offers significant protections although more tedious and expensive. There are different certificates, which vary according to their level of guarantee:
- Domain validation certificates (DV): The authority only verifies that you are the owner of the domain name to grant you the small padlock (automatic online procedure)
- Organization validation certificates (OV): a more extended procedure; for these, you must prove that you are the legal entity holding the domain and provide paper documents such as an extract from KBIS or a certificate of domiciliation
- Extended Validation (EV) certificates: All the information provided about your organization – legal and physical existence, telephone number, address, activity, etc. – will be verified annually.
In addition, the certificates are not automatically renewed, and it is necessary to plan to have time to carry out all the steps! Especially when we know that from 2022, Google will display an alert for sites that do not secure pages with so-called “sensitive” information…
Be careful, however, if you want to switch to HTTPS, to respect the end-to-end protocol: on the pages containing private information and, later on, all your URLs. The transition to HTTPS is not to be taken lightly, and care must be taken to set up redirects on each page to prepare for this migration properly. This is a job that can be tedious and requires the help of professionals.