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Importance of HTTPS in SEO

This article examines the critical role of HTTPS in SEO, highlighting its impact on Google rankings, user trust, engagement rates, traffic protection, and site loading speed.


In the complex ecosystem of the digital world, where every nuance matters, the importance of HTTPS for search engine optimization (SEO) cannot be overlooked. This is not just technical jargon, but an essential element that makes your site reliable and secure. This article aims to give you a complete understanding of why HTTPS is essential for SEO.

Increasing Google search rankings

In 2014, Google, the search engine juggernaut, officially announced that HTTPS would serve as a ranking factor. For experts in the field, this development was not surprising. Given the growing concerns about cybersecurity, Google's decision was a smart move to create a more secure online environment. According to research from Moz, a leader in SEO software solutions, as of 2016, about 40% of Google's first page organic search results showed HTTPS sites, a figure that has likely grown over the ensuing years.

Google not only favors HTTPS in its ranking algorithms, but also offers a set of tools to make it easier for website owners to switch to HTTPS. The directness and resources Google offers make the transition easier, highlighting the importance Google places on secure connections.

Increased trust

A site using HTTPS is more trusted by users because it ensures encrypted data transfer. This serves as protection against unauthorized interception of data, adding an additional layer of protection. According to a study conducted by identity services company GlobalSign, 84% of online shoppers would refuse to complete a transaction if they knew their data would be transmitted over an insecure channel. In a competitive digital marketplace where every click and every visitor matters, HTTPS can prevent you from losing customers due to a lack of trust.

Moreover, web browsers are increasingly letting users know that a site is trustworthy by displaying locks and security labels on sites that support HTTPS. Thus, switching to HTTPS not only increases the level of security, but also directly affects the psychology of users, potentially increasing conversion and sales.

The Key to User Engagement

In SEO, metrics such as time on site, bounce rate, and session duration are critical indicators. HTTPS indirectly improves these metrics by increasing user trust. Users are more likely to interact with a website that is marked as safe by the browser, resulting in longer interactions with the site and potentially higher conversions.

A report from SEMrush, a widely used SEO tool, highlights that user experience metrics such as average time on site are key factors influencing search engine rankings. By using HTTPS, you create a cycle of trust and high-quality user experience that search engines recognize and reward with improved rankings.

Protecting user traffic

HTTPS sites have the advantage of encrypted communications, which minimizes the risk of data theft by third parties. This is very important for sites that require credentials or offer e-commerce features. Cybersecurity Ventures, a leading expert on global cyber economic strategy, estimates that the value of cybercrime could reach $6 trillion by 2021. dollars per year. The costs of a data breach often go beyond the immediate financial loss, impacting a brand's reputation in the long term.

Considering the financial impact of data loss, switching to HTTPS can be seen as a risk mitigation strategy. Additionally, Google Chrome now displays a "Not Secure" warning on all HTTP pages, making it more likely that users will abandon such sites. Thus, HTTPS not only protects against data compromise, but also improves user retention.

Speed ​​is not only important for users

HTTPS can also improve the loading speed of your website. Although speed gains may depend on various factors, such as hosting conditions, HTTPS allows you to use the HTTP/2 protocol, which is noticeably faster than the old HTTP/1.1. Tests show that HTTP/2 is about 20% faster. Given that Google confirms that speed is a ranking parameter in both mobile and desktop searches, the speed advantage of HTTPS increases its SEO value.

Besides the impact on search engine placement, faster loading times also improve the user experience. A study conducted by technology research firm Aberdeen Group found that even a one-second delay in page load could result in a 7% reduction in conversions. Thus, the speed improvement provided by HTTPS can have a positive impact on both SEO rankings and user engagement.

Switching to HTTPS

Switching from HTTP to HTTPS is not optional, it is required. Obtaining an SSL certificate is the main and initial stage of the transition. After you install an SSL certificate on your site, you need to change the site's URLs to start with HTTPS instead of HTTP.

After these fundamental steps, a thorough testing of the site is required.The goal is not only to avoid negative SEO results, but also to ensure that all components of the web page work flawlessly under the new secure protocols. Tools like Google Search Console can provide valuable insight into your performance metrics and identify issues that may be negatively impacting your SEO.

Transition stages

The transition to HTTPS includes several stages, each of which contributes to a successful migration. After purchasing an SSL certificate, you need to update your site content and links to comply with HTTPS. In addition, it is recommended to switch all external links pointing to your site to HTTPS. An important step is also to configure the web server to automatically redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS.

Google's Search Console is a very useful resource during this transition. It allows you to track performance metrics, crawl statistics, and even index the HTTPS version of the site, which makes it possible to quickly identify and fix any problems. Vigilant monitoring and timely action will allow you to ensure a smooth transition that will positively impact your SEO strategy.

Strengthening the future of digital presence

The move to HTTPS is gaining momentum and is unlikely to abate. The Google Chrome browser already flags HTTP sites as “unsafe,” which impacts user perception and trust. This trend will likely spread to other browsers over time.

Moreover, other digital services and new technologies increasingly require the use of HTTPS. As technology advances, it is expected that HTTPS will move from an option to a requirement. Switching to HTTPS as soon as possible will allow you to take an advantageous position in future SEO campaigns and gain a competitive advantage over rivals who have not had time to adapt.

Your Complete HTTPS Migration Checklist

The HTTPS migration process consists of a methodical checklist to follow for a smooth transition. You should start by obtaining an SSL certificate from a reputable provider. After this, you need to integrate it into the web server, switch all internal and external links to HTTPS and set the server redirection from HTTP to HTTPS. After these steps, you need to use a number of test tools to verify that the settings are correct.

Google Search Console remains an invaluable aid in this process, but you can also use specialized tools like SSL Server Test from Qualys to comprehensively analyze your SSL settings and identify and resolve issues.

No room for error

Ongoing website monitoring should become standard practice, not just a separate task after migration.Tools like Google Search Console help identify any crawl errors or security risks that could negatively impact your SEO positioning. You can also enable notifications to stay informed of any issues that arise and take quick action to resolve them.

Regular oversight of an HTTPS-enabled site not only helps maintain SEO rankings, but is also necessary to optimize user satisfaction and trust. Proactive site maintenance demonstrates users' commitment to data security, which can only benefit your business in the long run.

HTTPS is the future

There is no going back; HTTPS has established itself as a fundamental element of SEO strategy. The transition from HTTP to HTTPS is not just a trivial change, but an important step in creating a sustainable and trusted digital ecosystem. From improving Google rankings and user trust to protecting data and improving speed, HTTPS serves as a multifaceted utility for any serious Internet project. Therefore, the time to act has come. HTTPS is not just a trend, it is a critical necessity in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

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