HTTPS is the protocol which ensures that your webpage is secure from a variety of threats. When you are using only the HTTP protocol, which is a way of connecting the client computer with the web servers, the information that is passed between the client and the server can be read by third parties and privacy and sensitivity of information can be compromised. HTTPS is considered to be one of the best measures to ensure that the web pages or websites are secure.
For the online marketing companies in India and elsewhere, especially the SEO companies, this is also an added advantage because Google, the main search engine, has explicitly stated that sites using this protocol would help achieve better ranks. So, converting from the http to the https protocol helps not only in maintaining better security but also in achieving better ranks on Google. Here is what needs to be done:
At first, you have to decide whether you want to use it for the whole site or for some web pages only. If you want to use it for some web pages only, then these shall be clubbed into a separate directory and only that shall be redirected to https.
For implementing it, you need to buy and install the SSL certificate from one of the agencies which provide these certificates and install it on your server. Verisign and Thwate are two most preferred agencies for getting this SSL certificate. Once this certificate is installed, you can redirect from http to https using the .htaccess file in the root.
The importance of moving to this protocol from the perspective of gaining better ranks might be limited at this stage but it definitely gives an edge to sites using this protocol. Google has itself said that, at this stage, this protocol has less weightage as a ranking factor as compared with others such as high-quality content but this is definitely the one factor which is likely to assume a lot more importance in due course of time.