What is HTTP?
In a nutshell, Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the protocol primarily used for communication between a website and a browser. When one attempts to visit a website by entering its address into a browser, the browser communicates with the website’s server to request that the site’s pages be displayed. Casual Internet users may be unaware that HTTP even exists, as many browsers tend not to display it unless absolutely necessary, especially on mobile devices.
What is HTTPS?
HTTPS is a subset of HTTP that adds an additional level of security. Most websites that deal with sensitive and valuable information utilize HTTPS to encrypt data. Examples include online banking websites, email platforms, and eCommerce websites. With regards to SEO, webmasters have the ability to display the HTTPS version of a website in search results, but according to Search Engine Land, about 80% of websites do not.
What is the Benefit of Using HTTPS?
The first, and most obvious answer, is an increase in security. If you are are an eCommerce website, or deal with financial or highly sensitive information, you should seriously consider using HTTPS if your website platform supports it. The added security gives website visitors the peace of mind that their transactions will be kept secure, and could make the difference of them doing business with you or not.
Additionally, there has been speculation that Google plans to use website security as a ranking factor in the future. As with mobile-friendliness, it it best to be ahead of the game when it comes to using HTTPS. If it makes sense for your business, take the initiative today before it affects your search results.