SEMrush recently conducted research on HTTPS’ popularity over the past few years and discovered the benefits of HTTPS and how it’s used by different industries and among Fortune 500 companies
HTTPS is the more secure version of HTTP that was developed to enable authorization and secured transactions. The “S” stands for “secure,” which means that communication between your browser and websites is encrypted. Because of this encryption, it is harder for third parties to manipulate or steal any information from your server.
One of the main benefits of using HTTPS, other than the fact that it makes websites more secure for users, is that it allows site owners to keep up with Google’s requirements, as HTTPS was announced as a ranking signal.
Below you’ll find data on websites that use the secure protocol and proof that its usage correlates with better rankings in Google.
HTTPS vs HTTP Usage in the Top 100,000 Domains
SEMrush analyzed the top 100,000 domains (using SEMrush Rank) in its US database and found that over the past three years, HTTPS usage has tripled among these websites. From 2014 to 2017, the percentage of domains in this group that were used HTTPS increased from 7.6 percent to 31.5 percent.
HTTPS vs HTTP Usage in the Top 5,000 Domains by Industry
SEMrush analyzed HTTPS usage in 2017 using data on the top 5,000 domains from SEMrush Rank (grouped into 25 industries). According to the findings, 41% of these websites were using HTTPS.
The analysis showed that the industry with the highest number of websites that use HTTPS in these top 5,000 domains was Arts and Entertainment. On the other hand, the industries with the highest percentage of HTTPS sites were Finance, Internet and Telecom, and Business and Industrial. The team also found out that News and Sports is the industry with the lowest percentages of HTTPS usage.
HTTPS usage among Fortune 500 companies (by sector)
SEMrush discovered an interesting HTTPS usage trend among the companies in the Fortune 500 list.
According to the findings, companies in the Financial and Business Service sectors had the highest percentage of HTTPS usage at 70 percent and 73 percent, respectively. Aerospace and Defense (8 percent) and Chemicals (9 percent) are the sectors with the lowest percentage of HTTPS usage.
HTTPS usage and SERP positions
The SEMrush team analyzed the correlation between SERP positions and HTTPS usage. They sampled 100,000 random keywords using SEMrush data and discovered that nearly 45 percent of results in the first position and nearly 50 percent of results in the second position used HTTPS.
The results of this analysis supported the idea that there may be a correlation between HTTPS usage and better search engine rankings.
Read the full study to discover more facts and uncover the proven benefits of HTTPS usage.
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