Why Your Website Needs SSL for SEO Performance
At one time the HTTP protocol ruled cyberspace. Then hackers came along with hacking software to penetrate many sites, particularly businesses using ecommerce software. No one security method can block attackers, but using several security layers makes it so difficult for them that they eventually move on. The current standard for websites is the HTTPS protocol, which adds a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and helps your SEO.
Why Google Favors SSL Sites
Google is trying to inspire web owners to take the initiative and create a safer internet with the advent of the SSL certificate. This security layer is based on encryption, which discourages cybercriminals due to its complexity. Originally Google encouraged ecommerce sites to add the certificate, but in recent years began using it as a broader search rank factor. As a result of this approach, Google now favors HTTPS websites in its search rankings.
Additionally, Google Chrome tags HTTP sites as “not secure.” So if you continue to use the old protocol, it could adversely affect your search rankings, which is the key to most internet traffic. Chrome now displays a green “locked” symbol if your site has the certificate, making it look more lively than an old HTTP site.
Web hosts now offer the certificate for sale to their website owner customers. The certificate must be updated every year in order to stay secure since cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to breach sophisticated systems. Keep in mind Google first adopted this security layer as a ranking signal in 2014.
Keeping Your Website Modern
Just as modern websites need to be mobile-friendly, they also need to have the Secure Socket Layer in order to remain current with the times. One of the keys to attracting the attention of other influencers or to be considered an influencer, is to have a modern website, since an HTTP URL now looks dated, like a ghost from the 90s. Influential popular bloggers know the importance of the security certificate, as it directly affects their traffic. They will instantly know you’re not up to speed if you ask them to review or cross-promote an HTTP site.
When visitors who are aware of the new protocol see a site marked as “not secure” it discourages them from making a purchase from that site or even clicking links. Part of the reason for this growing awareness about web security is that many big brand name websites have made the news due to security breaches. It’s often due to old infrastructure, poor passwords or employee error resulting in opening an infected email. News stories about identity theft now include warnings to only make online transactions on sites beginning with HTTPS in the URL.
SEO Benefits of SSL-Based Sites
helps promote your site’s trust level with users
shows search engines you are proactive about reducing cybercrime
uses encryption, which ensures privacy
prevents corruption during file transfers
uses authentication to protect against attacks
HTTPS sites load faster than HTTP sites
needed for modern app capabilities
If you still wonder why Google is pushing the SSL certificate on millions of websites, it’s because the search giant is trying to protect its own reputation. Its goal is to send users to sites that provide the rich content they’re looking for. Google doesn’t want to waste the user’s time sending them to sites that either provide a bad experience or lack modern security. Like it or not, Google behaves like a watchdog and acts like a filter for its users to connect them with sites that offer a positive experience.
Google has stated that all website owners should use HTTPS for all of their websites, even those that do not store sensitive information. Furthermore, HTTPS is now required by several current browser versions in order to display new features. Just to be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to follow Google’s lead when they make it clear certain actions or inactions will affect search rankings. Ultimately, the top search engine that influences most other search engines, has stated it wants to achieve a “web that’s secure by default.”
Adding SSL to your website is a necessity if you want Google to recognize your site as secure. The certificate can even boost your search rankings as long as you keep your main focus on crafting original deep content. While it’s still possible to get search engine visibility if your site is tagged as “not secure” with strong content, SSL-based sites generally have a better opportunity of high rankings if the content is unique and has value to its users.