We all are well aware what HTTP is. For those who still do not know, it is an application protocol for distributed, collaborative and hypermedia information systems. HTTP has become the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web. But now has come the HTTPS, which is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. This means that all communication between your browser and the website is encrypted.
What are the problems faced due to HTTPS?
The introduction of HTTPS has made the internet secure as well as is going to bring future technological developments. As of now, nearly 20% of the first pages that Google shows are HTTPS. But, as we know, everything has its own pros and cons. And so does HTTPS. Yes, HTTPS also has its disadvantages.
First of all, while switching from HTTP to HTTPS, the marketers have to face the 301 redirect issue, which leads to an approximate 15% of link equity loss, which in turn results in fall of rankings. Thus, it affects in SEO ranking. So, we can see that HTTPS gain is less than the amount of equity loss and the loss in traffic.
The next issue is that this replacement involves loss of referral data. When one site sends traffic to another, the information that is sent relates to the originating site as the source of traffic. Thus, the users can see where the traffic is coming from and they will want to link back to the site that is sending traffic.
How can you solve the above stated problems?
The first issue that relates to the decline of rankings in a search results page cannot be solved but, the issue of loss of referral data can. This can be solved by the meta referrer tag, which allows you to control how your referrer information is passed. This tag works with almost all the browsers. The traffic information remains coded and the other benefits remain steady but, it helps you to pass referrer data to all websites, may it be a HTTP or HTTPS, in the manner that you define it to do.
The meta referrer tag is placed in the ‘head’ section of your HTML. It gives you five options to decide how the browsers can pass the referrer information from your site, which are as follows:
Option 1 – “None” which provides that the browsers never pass the referrer information.
Option 2 – “None when downgrade” which allows sending referrer information to HTTPS sites and not HTTP sites.
Option 3 – “Origin only” which provides sending the subdomain information rather than the full URL as the referrer information.
Option 4 – “Origin when cross-origin” which offers to send the complete URL as the referrer when the target has the same subdomain, regardless if it is HTTP or HTTPS, while sending origin-only referral information to external sites.
Option 5 – “Unsafe URL” which passes the complete URL as a referrer. This is not advised for URLs that carry sensitive information.
On the whole, meta referrer tags help marketers and webmasters to see where their traffic is coming from, which encourages link building that in turn leads to improvements in SEO. Jain Technosoft is one of the leading SEO companies that can help you in solving any of your queries regarding conversions from HTTP to HTTPS.