Since the announcement of Google’s newest update on Chrome, it’s evident that SSL certificate is no longer optional for your website.
Okay, maybe you it’s not that big of a deal to have that green little padlock for your visitors, but will you still think the same if this little thing 🔒 might affect your search engine ranking?
We all know that the search algorithm is consistently changing. And now, in order to encourage more webmasters to install SSL Certificates, the search engine giant had made secure, encrypted connections (HTTPS sites) as a signal in their search ranking algorithms.
What is SSL Certificate?
Secured Socket Layers (SSL) certificate also known as digital certificate is the standard technology that establish a secured and encrypted connection for online communications between your web server and your visitors’ web browser. Provided the SSL is implemented correctly, it enables the private information such as credit card details to be transmitted without the risk of eavesdropping, data tampering, or message forgery by unauthorized user.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of obtaining traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines. The higher the rank of your website on search engine result page (SERP), the more the people will see your website and the more the traffic you’ll get. The problem is how do you ensure a higher ranking?
Every search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing have their own search algorithm to search for data to be display on SERP. The algorithm is like a secret recipe, nobody knows how it was made up and the key for a higher ranking is to identify and make good use of the ingredients in the recipe. However, a few factors had been identified by SEO experts such as, keywords, backlinks, page loading speed, mobile-first user experience, quality of content, etc.
How does SSL certificate affect SEO?
As mentioned earlier, Google had made HTTPS a ranking signal, which means you already know one of the ingredient. However, it is hard to measure the exact impact of the SSL certificate on rankings. For example, it’s nearly impossible to judge the real impact of SSL certificate on a site’s SE rankings when compared with another website in a similar niche but with better SEO ranking factors.
In this instance, conceivably the advantage of having more extra powerful backlinks will outbalance the advantage of having an SSL certificate. This indicates that by just having an SSL certificate will not magically drive your site to the top of SERP unless you are taking care of the other ranking factors as well.
A research done by Backlinko had proven that HTTPS is moderately related with higher search rankings on Google’s SERP.
Apart from these direct impact, SSL certificate can also affect your search ranking indirectly.
The intention of Google to shame unencrypted websites is to raise awareness about cyber security among general internet users. Presumably, a safe and secure website can significantly improves the user experience. Imagine your visitors landing on an unsafe page (showing you warnings and not secure sign), I believe little to zero of them would provide you their information, let alone making a transaction.
Moreover, visitors tend to exit from your site after greeted with all the warnings and in Google’s view, this indicates that you provide poor user experience and you’re not worthy to be ranked so high. Ultimately, Google will demote your website in the SERPs.
Is your website secure yet? Now that you already know the meaning behind the terms SSL and SEO, their importance and how do they work, you should install SSL certificate on your website now without further ado.