SSL Certification to Become Major Factor in Google SEO Ranking in 2017
Google is leading an industry effort to get more websites covered by SSL and is making changes to the Google Chrome browser, starting this month.
A blog post written in September by Google announced that Google Chrome (the market leader in browsers with over 50% share) will start displaying a “Not secure” message next to the web address of any website that does not use SSL.
In an effort to make the web more secure, HTTPS connections are now a Google SEO ranking signal— sites with SSL-encrypted HTTPS will rank higher than sites without.
Previously a lightweight signal, SSL will be a big factor in SEO starting this year. The neutral blind warning from Google Chrome users browsing HTTP sites will disappear and be replaced by Google clearly and accurately labeling sites lacking SSL certification as non-secure.
What is HTTPS?
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website you are connected to. The ‘S’ at the end of the HTTPS stands for ‘Secure’ and means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted. All major web browsers display a padlock icon in the address bar to visually show that HTTPS connection is in effect.
What is SSL?
HTTPS encrypts information so that communications between a website and it’s users remain private and unmodified. The security during the transfer is called “Secure Sockets Layer” (SSL). Properly installing an SSL certificate and routing all web traffic through SSL allows for secure connections which then activate the padlock icon shown in the address bar of web browsers.
Benefits of SSL
Having SSL-encrypted HTTPS connections provides advantages such as:
- Search Visibility: To be used as a search ranking factor, causing sites with SSL to be ranked higher.
- Protect Information: Sensitive information like credit card numbers is encrypted, meaning they cannot be intercepted.
- Trust: Customers are more likely to trust and complete purchases from sites that use HTTPS (in some surveys 17% of customers dropped a purchase over concerns about payment security).
- Verify: SSL certificates are issued and rely on the trustworthiness of certificate authorities. With SSL users can verify that you own the domain and are a registered business.