It seems that the digital marketers are not eager to use the ranking benefits offered by HTTPS. Google has always been encouraging the site owners to rely on HTTPS for making web a way safer place. Analyzing the popularity of HTTPS, web masters have discovered that the usage trend of it is not on an upswing among the top organizations around the world. According to Alexa data, by June 2016, only 10.2% of top 1 million companies chose HTTPS by default for their sites.
HTTPS usage among industries:
According to SEMrush, around 41% of the sites belonging to 25 different industries are using HTTPS in 2017. Among all others the Art & Entertainment industry has the maximum number of websites secured by HTTPS (316 of the 5000 top sites considered). It is closely followed by Finance with 77%, Internet & Telecom with 63.91% and Business & Industrials with 62%. The lowest percentage of HTTPS using was recorded by the News and Sports industries with 11.25% and 15.95% respectively.
HTTPS usage among the Fortune 500 companies:
Analyzing some of the largest US organizations in the Fortune 500 list, it has been discovered that there is a strong trend of using HTTPS among them. The list of Fortune 500 companies using it to the maximum level includes in the Financial (70%) and Business Services (74%) sectors. The Fortune 500 companies from Chemical industries and the Aerospace & Defense register the lowest use of secure domain with 9% and 8% respectively.
Effect of HTTPS on Google ranking:
From a list of 100,000 random keywords used as samples to check the SERP effect of HTTPS, 45% resulted in the first position while 50% landed in the second position.
What does HTTPS do?
HTTPS is the secured version of Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, the standard one used for communication on the web. Any unprotected HTTP domain is exposed to potential danger of revealing information about the user. Such information is often vulnerable to spying, interception, manipulation by hackers. The secured HTTP domain was created to protect the confidentiality of information on a particular domain. HTTPS is an encryption to keep the data of site visitors safe. Earlier, this encryption used only for payment transactions on websites. Gradually websites with different industries started using it. In attempt to secure their users’ accounts and keeping their identity private, they use this encryption with TLS (Transport Layer Security) or SSL (Secure Sockets Layer protocols for encrypted communications. Clients and server communicate with each other over a secure TLS or SSL HTTP with encrypted requests. This makes it difficult for hackers to steal information over internet.
Have a closer look at the benefits of moving to HTTPS:
- Privacy & Security: HTTPS is of great help for domains on which, important transactions are done and the users need to divulge sensitive information like, card details for online payment/ transaction. Your site visitors deserve a private and secure space for online transactions.
- Trustworthiness: You would surely not like your users to receive a security warning right after landing on your site. If a server claims to be HTTPS and its certificates do not match the claim, the browser will display a warning message. Such a condition is surely going to make the user doubt the safety measures offered by the website. The reputation of that website will be at stake. HTTPS consolidates the trust factor from user’s end.
- Referral: For an HTTPS site Google Analytics becomes more useful. Unlike HTTP, the security data related to the site that referred you the user is saved with HTTPS.
When traffic reaches the HTTP site, the analytics report shows it to be ‘direct’ and that is not quite helpful. On the other hand, as traffic moves through an HTTPS site, referral traffic data is saved. You will perfectly understand exactly where your traffic is coming from.
You have multiple reasons to migrate to HTTPS if your website is still an HTTP one. With the SEO benefits available from the move, it is important to make your website search engine friendly to help it getting better SERP while it keeps up with the changes. Moving to HTTP secured is one essential move in helping it rank better on search engines.