What Is An SSL Certificate, Do I Need One And Will It Affect My Google Ranking?
What is it with the world of the web and its love of acronyms? Well, here’s another one for you! SSL.
That’s Secure Sockets Layer to you and me, and there’s something of a question mark over whether or not you really need one and how much it will actually affect your website. So, we're going to try and shed a bit of light on the matter…
First off, what on earth is an SSL Certificate?
Have you ever noticed when you browse to a web page and there’s a little green padlock at the beginning of the site’s url? That means that the website has an SSL certificate. You’ll also notice that the url starts with https:// rather than the standard http://. Basically, what all of this means is that the connection between the two web servers is secure – the link is encrypted and so all data that passes between (eg. bank details) remains secure and private. Without this, third parties could theoretically access this information as is passes between your browser and the website’s server. Because of this, any websites with an e-commerce function have always had SSL certificates, however now Google is recommending them for all sites.
But I don’t have an e-commerce site, why do I need one?
Whilst previously the need for an SSL certificate was solely for ecommerce sites handling private data such as bank details and logins, Google are slowly forcing our hands and although they aren’t making it compulsory, they are certainly making it advantageous for your site to have an SSL certificate. How are they doing this? Well, back in 2014 they dropped the bombshell that SSL was going to be rolled out as a Google ranking factor. So, all sites with an SSL certificate would get a boost up the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages – more acronyms!). Not a huge one, but definitely noticeable. Well, at the start of this year, Google took this one step further and they are now marking all sites without an SSL as “non-secure”. Eventually, they plan to make this even more obvious by highlighting it in red with a warning triangle. This might seem minor, but it may put off less knowledgeable web users – you probably wouldn’t want visitors to your site to be met with a warning message, after all…
So, what do I need to do?
As you can see, you would be wise to consider an SSL certificate for your website. Not only will you be offering the benefit of security and privacy to your customers, ecommerce or no, you will also be doing yourself a favour by boosting your site’s Google ranking. There are different types of SSL, each offering various levels of security. It might seem like a minefield of choices, but we are here to help! Give us a call on 01625 666900 or drop us an email and we can help you get set up with an SSL certificate or answer any more questions you may have.