News emerged in January 2017 of another tool that website owners can use to positively boost their Google ranking – SSL certificates.

Google HTTPS Ranking can no longer be ignored. Non-HTTPS websites will be labelled as ‘Not Secure’ by Google Chrome.

Google wants a more secure web and is staging a multi-phase rollout of changes to its Google Chrome browser to encourage website owners to switch to HTTPS, also known as SSL.

If your website is not using HTTPS/SSL your website credibility and search engine rankings will be affected.

Google introduced SSL as a weak ranking signal way back in 2014. At the time, Google hinted that over time, they might decide to strengthen it as a signal because they wanted to encourage all website owners to switch from non-secure HTTP to secure-HTTPS.

In January 2017, that time has come!

What is SSL?

Secure Socket Layer – SSL – is a technology used to encrypt data that travels between a website and a user’s computer. You are probably already quite familiar with SSL technology – you just may not have realised how prevalent (and useful) it is. SSL encryption is typically used to encrypt sensitive personal information, like credit card details at the checkout of an online store. By using SSL these details are encrypted so that in the event of cyber criminals intercepting those details, they will be unable to read or use that information.

Google have announced changes to its indexing algorithm that gives a slight priority to sites that use SSL when defining search engine rankings. As a result, website owners are being encouraged to apply SSL technology to their entire site to protect their customers and potentially receive a favourable Google ranking.

Benefits of HTTPS

Increased Security

HTTPS protects your customers’ personal and financial information from falling into the hands of a third party. So-called “man-in-the-middle attacks” refer to when information is intercepted by a third party when it is sent between the user and the website. While HTTP websites can fall victim to these attacks, HTTPS websites cannot.

Mobile Usage

Due to Google’s mobile index, it is likely that switching to HTTPS will have a larger effect on mobile browsing than on desktop. When Google converts web pages to AMP, it requires them to be secure. This means that only using HTTP could have a severely detrimental effect on your place in the mobile rankings.

Browse Faster

When HTTPS is enabled, your website’s users are likely to experience slightly faster browsing speeds as well as added security. A faster website is a definite bonus when trying to drive traffic towards your website.

Freelance Computers now offer a very cost effective way to have an SSL Certificate installed onto a website, please contact us for more information and prices on this service.