Why You Should Be Using HTTPS in the Cloud

Years ago, moving to HTTPS meant performance degradation on your web server. Today, with HTTP/2 and CDNs, moving to HTTPS has little to no difference in terms of performance. Not only do you keep site performance, but you also offer better security for your users. CDN.net has free shared SSL and custom SSLs available too.  You know the basics, but here are some other reasons it’s time to move to HTTPS that you might not know.

Google Uses SSL as a “Tie Breaker” in Rankings

John Mueller, a Google Trends Analyst and “face” for Webmaster Central, said in one of his hangouts that Google uses SSL as a tie breaker. Gary Illyes confirmed in a tweet that “all things being equal, SSL is a deal breaker.”

For instance, suppose you’re having problems with a competitor in search. You both offer the same products or service, and the two of you compete for the same ranking spot. You both have HTTP configured and no SSL. If you see the two of your sites frequently change in rank, you could have a small benefit over your competitor using SSL. If both sites have equal quality signals, you would have just one more advantage to break the tie.

Search engines have hundreds of ranking factors, so while HTTPS won’t immediately shoot you to the first page, it will be a quality signal that helps your search engine position.

Better Analytical Data

Most site owners have some kind of tracking service on their site. For Google search and organic traffic tracking, you probably have Google Analytics. When you get referrer information from people who link to you or search engines that show you in a data set, any analytics data is lost such as the search term used to find you. This can be a disadvantage with your marketing.

Most of the web is moving towards SSL/TLS. If any of these encrypted sites send you data, you lose referral information since your site isn’t encrypted also. Moving your site to an encrypted version will give you better analytical data as the data is passed between sites.

If you find it difficult to synchronize your Google Web Search Tools data with Google Analytics, having referral data might make it a bit easier. Note, though, that usually these two tools won’t have exactly the same data, but it will help you with your reporting efforts.

Better Privacy for Your Users

You already know that encryption can’t be “read” without having the decryption key, but this is more important than just privacy. It’s recently been reported that ISPs have been selling web history. While this isn’t a new concept, it’s recently received the attention of several news outlets. ISPs take the information and browsing habits of its users and sell it to third parties. This information is used for marketing, but it could also be used for nefarious purposes.

Most users don’t appreciate a third party reading their browsing history, and encryption helps stop this activity. The ISP might be able to see sites accessed by the user, but they can’t see the information exchanged between two parties.

There are several other reasons to encrypt data. The wrong person can be reading data across a network wire. This includes administrators working in an organization where your users are employed. They can see usernames and passwords, email content, and other private data that should be kept from prying eyes.

Encrypted traffic protects all of your user’s data including their browsing habits, data sent to other sites and credentials used to log in to various websites.

Shared SSL with Your CDN.net Service

SSL certificates are expensive, but moving to CDN.net gives you free shared SSL certificates. If you’re currently on a slower, single-server solution and need a CDN solution but don’t have SSL installed, it’s worth it to not only move your site to our content delivery network but also take advantage of our SSL offer.

Because you’re working with a CDN, the old school problem of performance degradation is no longer true. You can have speed and security on your site regardless of size and traffic.

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