In a recent blog post that was published a few months ago on our site, we spoke about a dramatic increase in the number of websites adopting the HTTPS protocol in order to provide an extra layer of protection and security for their online visitors. As part of that blog, we stated that a number of experts were predicting that nearly half of all websites would have implemented / switched to HTTPS within the following 12 months.
It now seems that that prediction is well and truly on its way to becoming a reality, particularly as 45% of the top search results in the Google SERPs are now using HTTPS already!
In June 2016, just over a third of all search results provided by Google were using HTTPS instead of HTTP and it now looks like that figure will easily reach 50% or higher by June 2017.
What is HTTPS? A Quick Recap
HTTPS, or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, is a more recent version of HTTP, which offers an extra level of security between the website you are viewing and your internet browser. Whereas a third party, i.e. anyone with access to your network, can easily view communications between your computer and whichever site you are viewing under standard the standard HTTP protocol, HTTPS communications are encrypted. This makes it very difficult, if not completely impossible, for anyone listening in on those communications to gain easy access to private data such as your bank or credit card details, passwords and login information.
Google’s Stance on HTTPS
Although a number of websites were already using HTTPS to protect the sensitive details of their customers and subscribers, a Google announcement indicated that the search provider was beginning to take browser security very seriously by introducing HTTPS as a ranking signal. In theory, this meant that any sites adopting the secure protocol will benefit for their efforts by means of slightly better visibility in the organic search listings.
In addition to this, any sites that are not encrypted via HTTPS are now automatically marked as unsecure when using Chrome as your browser of choice.