Website Security: To HTTP or To HTTPS?

https website security

Website security is a given when it comes to customers. Customers want to know their data is protected. Having a website security certificate can go a long way into not only assuring your customers that they are safely browsing and purchasing, but it can also lend credibility to your business and your products.

There’s also an additional underlying and important reason to invest in an SSL (secure sockets layer) security certificate: your rank in search engines. SSL uses a cryptographic system that uses two keys to encrypt data. It’s no secret that Google, Bing, and other search engines give secure (https://) websites a boost compared to non-secure (http://) websites. In fact, according to Google:

…over the past few months we’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now it’s only a very lightweight signal—affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content—while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.

So really, with https already a standard for website ranking, it’s a good idea for both you and your website to invest in security certificates.

Does this mean that if your website is http that it will not rank high? Not necessarily. You can still rank high with only http. The algorithms of both Bing and Google, as well as other search engines, are complicated. Website security is only one thing they look at. However, if you choose to remain at http, be aware that browsers like Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox will inform their users that your website is not using a secure connection, potentially increasing your bounce rate and losing you sales. And https websites will generally rank higher, especially as time goes on and https increasingly becomes the standard.

Get a security certificate for your website