Why move to HTTPS in 2017

What is the concrete use of the small "S" after the famous HTTP that we all know? What is its interest for security and natural referencing? What is Google's weight in the deployment of HTTPS on the web? So many questions that we try to answer in this article.

What is HTTPS? What is it?

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is the encrypted version of the HTTP protocol, i.e. it contains an encryption layer of the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) type.

The purpose of this protocol is to secure websites, preventing potential hackers from retrieving data from them, thereby protecting the information that is transmitted and stored on the site in HTTPS.

To find out if a site has an HTTPS certificate, it's very simple! Just check the URL or the presence of a padlock at the top of the open web page.

Why switch your website to HTTPS?

For GoogleHTTPS has become an important criterion for the natural referencing of websites.

There are also other reasons that may motivate you to acquire a security certificate:

  • SSL or TLS certificates are now free of charge (possibility of having paid certificates).
  • Your site will be more secure and the data contained in it will be encrypted.
  • Thereafter, your Internet users will have more confidence in your website.

On the other hand, let's not forget that HTTPS is one of the SEO criteria among nearly 200 others, so let's keep in mind that many other elements must be taken into account when SEO is a natural part of a page.

How to ensure that your HTTPS is correctly indexed by search engines

Google prefers pages in HTTPS, from the point of view of natural referencing, but under certain indexing conditions:

  • The page must be "indexable", i.e. a meta "index" tag must be present on the page.
  • The HTTPS page must be the final landing page (and not a redirection to another page)
  • Finally, the sitemap will have to list this URL in HTTPS and not in HTTP.

Google's weight in the deployment of HTTPS

The American firm clearly encourages the web to make all sites HTTPS, and its aim is to provide greater security for the data that circulates on the web, whether it is sent or transmitted by Internet users.

In 2016, 81% of Google traffic was already in HTTPS in France.

To further encourage us to equip ourselves with HTTPS, Google Chrome has recently introduced the first warnings stipulating the lack of security on sites not using HTTPS: a rather radical way, highlighting the lack of security on some platforms.

A Ahrefs study shows that leading sites are successfully using HTTPS, so it is better to keep pace, as HTTPS is becoming more widespread on all sites, whether they are e-commerce or not.

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