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Moving to HTTPS: 31% of Domains Are Now Secure [STUDY]

Author: Anna Lebedeva / Source: Search Engine Journal

Google wants to make the web more secure and has been encouraging us to secure our sites with HTTPS.

To further incentivize SEOs, Google announced that HTTPS is a ranking signal that can give your site a small ranking benefit.

Despite the potential SEO benefits, the majority of sites aren’t migrating to HTTPS, according to a study by SEMrush (disclosure: I work for SEMrush). Our team analyzed the popularity of HTTPS over the past few years and discovered the HTTPS usage trend in different industries and among the top global companies.

This study follows on statistics Google provided last year on the use of HTTPS on popular websites, which were chosen based on Google’s own internal data and publicly available Alexa data. Findings showed that these websites accounted for approximately 25 percent of all website traffic on the Internet. Also, according to Statoperator, as of June 2016, 10.2 percent of Alexa top 1 million websites used HTTPS by default.

Let’s dig into the latest results.

HTTPS Usage Among the Top 100,000 Websites

By scrutinizing the top 100,000 domains (according to SEMrush Rank’s U.S. database), the SEMrush team discovered that HTTPS usage has tripled among these sites between 2014 and 2017.

Over the past three years, the percentage of these sites that are marked with a green padlock on your browser’s address bar has increased from 7.6 percent to 31.5 percent. That means 31,549 out of 100,000 are now using HTTPS.

HTTPS Usage Among the Top 5,000 Websites by Industry

The next part of the study was to determine how many of the top 5,000 domains divided into 25 industries (according to SEMrush Rank) are using HTTPS. SEMrush found out that 41 percent of these sites were using HTTPS in 2017.

When it comes to industries, 316 of Arts & Entertainment websites used HTTPS, which made this category the industry with the highest number of sites secured with HTTPS. The three industries with the highest percentage of HTTPS usage were Finance (77 percent), Internet & Telecom (63.91 [percent), and Business & Industrial (62 percent).

As for non-HTTPS websites, according to the findings, the industries with the lowest percentages of HTTPS were News (11.25 percent) and Sports (15.95 percent).

HTTPS Usage Among the Fortune 500 by Sector

For the purpose of this research, SEMrush also analyzed the largest U.S. corporations to find out how many of the top global businesses have already moved to HTTPS. By exploring companies in the Fortune 500 list, the team discovered an interesting HTTPS usage trend.

Companies with the highest percentage of HTTPS usage were in the Financial (70 percent) and Business Services (74 percent) sectors.

On the other hand, the companies with the lowest percentage of HTTPS usage were in the Aerospace & Defense and Chemicals industries, with 8 percent and 9 percent of HTTPS websites, respectively.

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