Why your website should use SSL and how it can boost Google search results
Google are always looking for ways to make the internet a “safer place” and with this in mind they offer a boost in rankings for SSL and HTTPS secured websites. Moreso, since the beginning of 2017, Google have been penalising websites without an SSL certificate.
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer – a standardised protocol that enables private and confidential sessions between two applications exchanging data over a TCP/IP connection. In more simple terms, it’s a small data file that once installed on your website allows sensitive data to be exchanged safely.
When an SSL certificate is deployed it activates the HTTPS protocol on your website. When a site is secured and certified a green padlock and HTTPS will appear just left from the address bar in browsers (similar to the image below).
Why do I need an SSL Certificate?
In recent years, privacy and security have become the most critical issues in the world of online business. If your customers don’t feel safe there’s no customer trust, and without trust a web-based business just won’t do well. When your website is handling personal data, whether it’s through simple login forms or handling transactions or credit card data, security should be a top priority. Statistically speaking, 70% of online shoppers cancel online orders if they don’t trust or feel comfortable executing the transaction.
It’s in this context that SSL Certificates join the game. Data transmitted between browsers and web servers is sent in the form of plain text which makes it pretty vulnerable to eavesdropping. A hacker could easily grab and misuse intercepted information. With SSL in place, a hacker will be unable to intercept that data.
The main benefits of using SSLs:
- Security – This one is quite self-explanatory. Hackers won’t be able to capture data exchanged through your site. SSL blocks interception or “man-in-the-middle attacks”.
Even if you don’t handle sensitive data, an SSL certificate for your website is always a good idea.
- Trust – Reasons for getting an SSL go a bit beyond simple security. The green padlock shows your visitors and customers that you are ready to go the extra mile to make sure they get the best possible experience – a key factor in building trust.
- Rankings – Google’s search algorithm treats security as a ranking factor. They are actually pushing towards what they call “HTTPS everywhere” and clearly state that sites with SSL are going to be treated better in terms of rankings.
Google has started to push hard in terms of website security in light of recent high profile hacks and attacks. This makes it even more critical to embrace SSL.
Why do I Need it Now?
Not so long ago, HTTPS and SSL were heavy in terms of web performance and could ultimately end up slowing down your site. This is not the case anymore as HTTPS technology has progressed with the impact on performance becoming minimal or non-existent.
With SSLs no longer being heavy and obstructing website performance, Google is shifting from boosting secured sites to actually penalizing those who aren’t secure. It’s a big step towards achieving their goal of a completely “safe Internet”.
If you’re looking to keep up with Google’s best practices, it’s time to get your website an SSL certificate. Miratech can help set up, install and maintain this so please get in touch if you would like more information.
29th November 2017
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