SSL Certificates & Google Rankings Explained


SSL Certificates are the backbone of securing websites and protecting your data and sensitive information as it is being transmitted.


SSL Certificates are essential for protecting your website. They provide privacy, critical security and data integrity for both your website and your websites users’ personal information.

Back in 2014, as part of their effort to promote a more secure Internet for all Google called for “HTTPS everywhere”. They further encourage websites to use SSL certificates by giving preferential search engine rankings to websites with SSL certificates active.

This month with the release of the latest version of Chrome, Google introduced a new warning message for all non-HTTPS websites and the browser now marks all sites without SSL certificates as “not secure”.  As a website owner this is a huge deterrent to your online customers.

What is an SSL?

An SSL Certificate (Secure Sockets Layer), creates a secure link between your website and your users browser. The SSL Certificate encrypts data being passed between the two therefore preventing hackers from stealing your clients sensitive information such as credit card numbers, email addresses etc.

When you add an SSL certificate to your site, you’ll be changing your domain name from “http://sitename” to “https://sitename.”

This change will happen automatically for you and all traffic will be automatically redirected from your unsecure http:// address to your secure https:// address.

Customer Trust

All web browsers give a visual cue as to whether a website is secured by an SSL or not. You’ve probably noticed a lock icon or a green bar, to make sure visitors know when their connection is secured.

When customers see the green lock, or secure text next to your website URL they know they can trust your website and that their data is secure. This is not only essential for ecommerce sites but any website which collects customer data … even if only via an on-line contact form.


85% of Online Shoppers Avoid Unsecured Websites


SEO Advantages of SSL Certificates

Following Google’s recommendation for all websites to install SSL certificates will not only benefit your website security but can also provide SEO benefits. Let’s have a look at these:

1. Improved Rankings

Google has specifically stated it will provide prefer search rankings to HTTPS sites over HTTP sites.

2. Referral Data

Google Analytics becomes even more useful with HTTPS since unlike HTTP, the security data of the website that referred to you is saved–meaning that referral sources won’t appear just as “direct traffic.” For SEO alone, this gives HTTPS an edge.

3. Security and Privacy

SSL Certificates provide security for both website owners and their users. This security helps you avoid monetary losses, data theft and damage to your website’s reputation.

What does an SSL cost?

The cost of an SSL certificate is generally under $100 annually and you will most likely have a small installation cost.

How do I get an SSL?

Setting up an SSL certificate on your website is an easy process however this will need to be completed by your web developer or server as it requires access to your site’s files and hosting. SSL certificates can be set up quickly and once active need to be renewed annually.


Need a hand?

Feel free to contact me and I will assist setting up an SSL Certificate on your website or leave any questions & comments below.

Felicity is the founder of Website Projects and an expert online strategist and web developer. You can contact her via email or connect via Linkedin .

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