Can an SSL Certificate affect your sites SEO?
Would you be okay if you know the website you are currently surfing on is attempting to phish and obtain information and logins from you? Never. The number of internet users worldwide has increased to 3.4 billion, and all agree about the importance of online security.
However cybersecurity laws are not strong enough to protect our data.
For some websites, it has become crucial to generate and maintain trust in the users who visit their websites to keep the traffic incoming, leading to potential conversion. The use of a SSL certificate is one of the easiest ways to establish your website and make it secure amongst the millions of other sites available.
But can a SSL certificate affect and contribute to your websites SEO ranking? We explore the power of the SSL certificate within this article for the use of both independent businesses and seo management services
SSL Certificate and HTTPS: Are They Important to Google?
Google is the most widely used search engine across the world. It receives millions of queries every second and quickly gives the answer to the searched query. To reach the right audiences and manage your visibility, it is crucial that you rank high in the Google search results. To reach a high position and to make it to the first page of the SERPs, focusing on your SEO is key. But how does a SSL certificate, HTTPS, and Google search result ranks all connect?
At present there are around 38.34 million websites worldwide that have already adopted HTTPS and SSL certificate, it becomes essential to understand the actual need and if this certificate is required.
Redirecting users to HTTPS/SSL certified version by default. Among the top 1 million websites hosted on Rackmount Servers, 67.87% of them have already transformed themselves according to requirement. But before we get to SEO and the effect that a SSL certificate has on the search rankings, first let us discuss what is HTTPS and a SSL certificate?
HTTPS is a secure HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) that assures the users that their data shared on the website is secure and kept private. When a user is sharing crucial payment info or their credit card and transaction details on the website, it becomes crucial to protect their data. And HTTPS assures it. It adds many extra layers of protection when the data is shared across the network to enhance security.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate assures that the information shared between a server and a user remains private and secure. The SSL certificate is installed on the web server that acts as a lock. It protects the data exchange throughout the entire time. SSL certificate binds the domain name with the company name and location. It generates a pair of keys: a public key and a private key that is used to decrypt and encrypt the data that is sent and received.
Even when a hacker succeeds in intercepting your data and listen to the communication with the site, they can’t access the data as it is encrypted with a private key that is very difficult to decipher. If a website has successfully installed and configured the SSL certificate and use HTTPS- Chrome and Firefox browsers will display the following icon in the address bar at the left.
SSL Certificate for SEO Efforts: Does It Impact the Website Ranking in the Search Results?
As Google is highly user-centric when it comes to ranking websites in its search results, every parameter that refers to the goodwill of a user is added to their ranking factors. However, when SSL certificate and HTTPS were first introduced into the market, many websites refused to waste their time in getting themselves authenticated, this led to many users leaving the website because of insecure website content and connection and a lack of basic security.
Here are some key points that can explain and hint to the benefit of a SSL certificate and HTTPS on the sites SEO.
- Acknowledgment from Google
Google acknowledges the use of HTTPS websites by indexing the HTTPS versions of a webpage over the previous HTTP ones. But it does not affect the ranking of your site if your HTTP webpage links to other pages that are HTTPS or HTTP. Google keeps the best intentions in mind and gives equal opportunity to HTTP and HTTPS pages.
Google indeed gives preference to HTTPS webpages, but they collectively find and choose the duplicate that is HTTPS and indexes it. And it counts the inbound links pointing to HTTP and HTTPS webpages both before ranking it in the search engine.
- SSL Certificates Are Not that Costly
Based on the company and the support you seek while choosing the SSL certificate, the prices may vary. Some SSL certificates are available for free, and others may require a fee based on the size and reputation of the company in question. However, based on the needs of your website, you should choose an SSL certificate that secures your data, but is also cost-effective.
Search engine results have lots of parameters to consider apart from the SSL certificate. To validate whether it impacts the search results or not, a study was conducted on 1 million Google search results, and it concluded that, HTTPS is correlated with search results but the impact is not as great as you have estimated. As there are many parameters to consider when ranking a website in the search results, Google makes the HTTPS and SSL certificate less of a priority than other ranking factors. But it doesn’t mean you can skip it!
As cybersecurity is becoming one of the crucial factors to consider when maintaining and improving the function of your website and ensuring your users’ trust, HTTPS, and SSL certificate are essential factors to integrate. However, based on the website needs and the domain your website falls into, you need to manage the SSL certificate and choose the provider that meets your needs.
Updating your website with an SSL certificate and HTTPS requires you to follow all the necessary steps. However, it is essential first to understand the type of SSL certificate your website needs. Without learning about the types, you should never invest in SSL certificates to protect your investments and save you time.
Are SSL Certificates Necessary for Google Search Result Rankings?
Installing an SSL certificate won’t boost up your rank in the search engine overnight. But it is an essential element to help protect your website from potential damages and hacking.While you can ensure the customers data remains protected, it also protects the server data that you exchange with customers.
Adding an extra layer of security over your website won’t hurt if you are ready to invest your time and money in it. For example, there are many GoJek clone apps in the market, but the one that has provided excellent results will get favored above all.
Similarly, SSL certificate will hold power in the upcoming future as it plays a vital role in keeping many cyber attacks at bay. By securing the data of the users and delivering the best services, you can rely on increasing the traffic as your customers begin to trust your website even more.
Moreover, Google states that keeping all the SEO ranking factors in mind, HTTPS occurs to be a tiebreaker when ranking a website in the search results. i.e., if you are ready to switch to HTTPS, it can give you a point ahead of your competitors whose SEO efforts are on a par with the efforts that you put in. But are SSL certificates absolutely necessary to boost the SEO of a web page?
Not necessarily. Other SEO factors weigh much more importantly than SSL certificates, when it comes to your position in the search results. But the traffic that your website receives can guarantee a basic level of safety when visiting your website, thanks to the HTTPS and SSL certificate you have included.
Switching your HTTP web pages to HTTPS should be considered if not done so already in maintaining a basic level of security and ensuring that your site appears high up within the SERPs. Research also conducted shows that when it comes to hacking and phishing, around the world a hacker will strike every 39 seconds and 2244 times a day on average. The phishing and social engineering attacks are prevalent among website attacks (almost 32-33%). Therefore, it is crucial to assure your website users receive a reliable level of security and SSL certificates and HTTPS are a recommended choice.
Manage your users’ privacy and security and follow the best security practices that have been listed above. This in turn can help you to ensure safety, while generating and guaranteeing high quality web traffic, pushing your website higher up within the Google search result rankings, in turn leading to more leads and conversions. To aim for all businesses large or small.
There you have it, the benefits of a SSL certificate. Let us know your thoughts and whether you noticed an instant change in the performance of your site when adding or upgrading your SSl certificate by commenting below.