Travel firms are risking their reputation by failing to adopt the HTTPS url protocol which offers users a more secure way of browsing and paying online.
Research by Searchmetrics has found just 23% of travel related sites that appear on page one of Google search results use HTTPS.
This compares with 46% of financial services sites and 36% of ecommerce sites .
HTTPS protects web users’ privacy and confidential information lie credit card and password details using encryption.
Web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox have started using icons and warnings to help web users identify pages that are not using it.
Companies who have not adopted HTTPS are harming their business according to Marcus Tober, founder and chief technology officer of Searchmetrics:
“From a search perspective it’s likely that sites only benefit from a slight rankings boost in Google’s organic results by using HTTPS,” he said.
“But if leading web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox are marking your web pages as less secure, this can have a negative impact on your conversion rate, particularly given the growing awareness among consumers about the importance of secure connections.”
While HTTPS is considered important for websites that ask visitors to enter credit card or other confidential information Tober believes it is also advisable for others including publishers, for reasons of personal privacy.
The Searchmetrics analysis, which was conducted in the first quarter of 2017, looked at first page Google results for 30,000 keyword queries.
Average Rate of HTTPS Among Sites Listed in the Top 10 of Google’s Search Results by Industry:
• Finance: 46%
• eCommerce: 36%
• Media: 12%
• Health: 24%
• Travel: 23%