Infographic via Blue Corona
SSL Certificates used to be for E-commerce sites, and sites that handled sensitive information only. But as of recently, Google has started giving preferential treatment to HTTPS / SSL protected sites across the board.
Some might say it’s because Google is a megalomaniacal tyrant that drives webmasters with it’s ideological whip.
Other’s might guess that Google is flagging unsecured sites now – because they want both website visitors to feel comfortable, and they believe any site that allows you to input any kind of data – should keep that data safe.
And safe – means encryption – WTF is encryption?
SSL is like your electronic – internet passport! SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and it’s the standard security technology creating an encrypted link between the server and a browser. With the power of a SSL certificate, the information becomes unreadable to anybody trying to read it except for the server you are sending the info to.
How does SSL effect SEO?
If Google (and it’s Chrome Browser) are slowly giving more and more visual clues to protected sites and unprotected sites – they are essentially nudging users into paying less attention to the unprotected ones.
Google is incentivizing people to ‘Prove it’ that they are who they say they are.
We know that SSL certificates and HTTPS encryption is good for users – because they are more likely to do business with a company that protects their information, and gives evidence to that security on their site.
But now there’s even more of a reason –
Google is saying it gives preferential treatment in Organic search results
Recent studies conducted by Brian Dean, SEMRush and Ahrefs a solid connection between HTTPS and higher search rankings was found, but other’s such as Moz – have contested that it’s more of a ‘Tie Breaker’ than a major contender for something that defines who’s the big winner and big losers in search engine results pages.
The more tie breakers you have – the more likely you are to get more traffic
If there are 5 tie-breakers that all give you a slight advantage and you roll all 5 out, then who has the advantage?! You!
- Good technical SEO, with all of it’s nooks and crannies
- Regular content out on your site systematically
- Solid on-page SEO and targeted meta titles and descriptions
- HTTPS – SSL Encryption
- Guest posting and other backlinks to your site being created regularly
Yes each of these on it’s own is not enough to make your site dominate your competition, but overall – it’s OK to focus on them when in conjunction, slight advantages turn into major one’s overtime.
Long story short
Get an SSL certificate if you don’t have one yet
It doesn’t have to be extremely logical (you may not have forms that require encryption) for it to help your site in organic rankings. Just make sure to do it in the most efficient way, and make sure all your sites files are linked to the HTTPS version after you roll out your SSL.
In our next ‘Technical SEO Simplified’ post we’ll give you a checklist for making sure you roll out SSL in the most efficient and SEO friendly way possible.