SSL certificates as a ranking factor: Secure your site for a better user experience.

Filed under: Resources

Posted by Kyle Bahr
4 months ago | July 10, 2018

A secure website can impact search ranking and user experience.  Time to get secure.

Search engines also may now use SSL certificates as a ranking factor.

An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate is a digital certificate that ensures that the identity of a website is safe. It does this by establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that any data being passed between the web server and browser are private.

In the past, SSL certificates were commonly used for e-commerce websites where credit card details were used to make a purchase.   However, as of July 2018 Google (Specifically their Chrome Browser) will be marking all sites without a secure connection  as “Not secure”.

SSL certificates as a ranking factor - Secure Vs Not Secure

A website showing as “Not secure”

…over the past few months we’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal…

https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2014/08/https-as-ranking-signal.html

Do you need an SSL Certificate?

Our short answer to this question would be yes, an SSL certificate is now very important.

The web has slowly growing into a safer and more encrypted browsing experience. For the experience of your users, and the safety of the personal data they submit, It is important to ensure that your website has an SSL certificate and is loaded via HTTPS.

An SSL certificate has many benefits for your site including:

  • Secure Data
    It secures the data submitted in forms (usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, etc)
  • Trust and Authority
    It builds and reinforces consumer trust for your brand.
  • SSL certificates as a ranking factor
    It helps your site rank higher in in search engine results pages. (Google will give preferential indexing to a website that is secure over one that is not)

How do you get an SSL Certificate?

Depending on your hosting provider, an SSL certificate can be added to your site for little (or potentially) no cost.   If your website is currently hosted by Elite Online Marketing, you may already be eligible for an SSL certificate depending on your current hosting service level.   If you’re not sure if your website is currently secure you can contact us and we’d be happy to take a look.