Why SSLs Matter – Technical SEO Simplified

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Updated April 3, 2018
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Google Likes It - SSL Certificate for SEO
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Why SSLs Matter – Technical SEO Simplified


Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, and strategic marketer focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses and construction companies.

HTTPS Infographic - SSL Certificates and why they matter for SEO

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.

Why?

Some might say it’s because Google is a megalomaniacal tyrant that drives webmasters with its 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.

Prove it web comic about SSL - HTTPS Encryption

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 an 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.

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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 tiebreakers 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 its 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 its 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. 

Video Transcription

So Gypsy is going to join us for the first episode of “Google Likes It.” In this episode, we’re going to talk about SSL certificates. First thing I want to talk about is why Google cares if you have an SSL certificate.

Reasons for an SSL Certificate:

1) Security – The first reason, and the original reason for an SSL certificate, is so there’s encryption. That means there’s a secure connection between the server and your browser so that the information is not passed off to other entities in the process of getting entered into your site. Anybody with e-commerce or passing sensitive medical information was supposed to have an SSL certificate. Now, anyone that has a contact form could have one, and indeed it’s good for SEO. So anyone should have one.

2) Identification – It essentially proves it that you are who you say you are to Google. That’s another reason they’ve been honoring sites with an SSL certificate over other sites.

3) SEO Tiebreaker – If everything else was the same, if the content was the same, if the links to your site were the same, Google would use it as a tiebreaker between you and another site.

Go get one and join us next time for the second episode of “Google Likes It.”

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Tim Brown

Tim Brown is the owner of Hook Agency, and strategic marketer focused primarily on driving traffic and leads for small businesses and construction companies.

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