SSL certificates and SEO rankings… how important are they? And more importantly for you, perhaps, what are they?
In brief, SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates are a security measure for websites. They’re small data files that are installed on a web server, activating a padlock that allows secure connection from a web server to a browser.
It’s all part of the web moving to a more secure place.
Earlier this year, SSL certificates became free, yet very few websites currently use them. In fact, the latest information suggests that the figure might be just 6% of the top 10,000 websites.
In Google’s ever-changing algorithm for SEO rankings, one of the latest is the inclusion of websites using SSL certificates as a factor of their ‘trustworthiness’.
We’d like to announce that we’re adjusting our indexing system to look for more HTTPS pages. Specifically, we’ll start crawling HTTPS equivalents of HTTP pages, even when the former are not linked to from any page.
This means that, for the first time, HTTPS pages will receive an SEO boost and be the default result for searchers. For webmasters, the key will be to make sure they’ve implemented SSL certificates properly to ensure the best possible visitor experience and avoid a temporary drop in rankings.
Having an SSL certificate installed on your website is the new standard – just like responsive design was a few years back. Indeed, all new websites should be launched with SSL certificates applied.
You can be sure that having an SSL certificate on your site is valuable. It shows visitors that your site is verified and that it’s safe from hackers. It also improves your SEO rankings.