Days are passing by and the Internet is becoming an increasingly important part of our lives. We communicate online, shop online, pay our bills online, spend most of our time on the Internet, work or have fun using various web-based applications, social networks and e-mails, e-banking, etc.
And despite the boom in online sales, a surprisingly significant number of users still believe that the Internet is a dangerous place and thus they prefer to shop and submit payments „face to face” in real offices and local shops.
According to a research, performed by the Gartner Inc. Company, 15 percent of online consumers in the United States are so worried about online fraud, that they are not willing to shop online at all. The statistics in the UK are even more scary, where according to a study of CyberSource, 41% of respondents admit that the reason for not shopping online is fear for the security of their personal information.
Therefore, in order to develop a successful business online, you need to ensure your users that their personal data is protected and guarantee they will not become a victim of internet fraud. If users suspect that there is such a risk, they are less likely to shop, even register on your site. Trust and confidence of your customers compound the key foundation of any online existence. Whether you’re an individual or a company, it is important to take care and protect them just like you do for your home or personal business. No matter how big and popular your commercial website is, if your company provides no signs of security with an SSL certificate, it is most likely that your prospects will leave before making a purchase.
The good news is that online consumers are becoming better informed and most of them are used to looking for the padlock icon, “https” protocol or the green bar in the address bar of the web sites they visit. This way, all of their concerns about their online safety immediately disappear, they feel safe and proceed with submitting their personal information, subscribe to your newsletter or shop from your online stores.
If until now you have been hesitant whether or not to install an SSL certificate on your website, now you have one very good reason to do it:
Over the last couple of years, Google migrated all its decisions to work over SSL, which leads us to the conclusion that they would like to see our sites working the same way. The topic was even raised by Matt Cutts on Search Marketing Expo in March, who answered the question firmly, saying that he personally would gladly have SSL Certificate included as part of the algorithm for ranking in search engine. Matt Cutts said he’d like for HTTPS to be a ranking signal and I guess, even though he is on a leave, he got his wish.
Few days ago Google announced that they are now using SSL/HTTPS as a ranking signal in their Google search algorithm. In other words, websites with encryption — a common security measure that protects user data so that only authorized parties can read it — will show up higher in Google search results. In other words, Google is making another decisive step towards improving security over the Internet. Sites that use a secure connection over HTTPS (SSL certificate), will have a better ranking and will perform better at higher positions in SERPs. Isn’t that a good reason to go for a SSL? Tell me about it!
The signal is said to be very weak, although the buzz about it is enormous and webmasters should not go crazy about it, but it is still a definitive sign.
What’s next after you have decided to protect your site?
First you need to choose the right SSL certificate that will best accommodate your needs. Protect yourself and your clients now with one of the great Private SSL solutions, provided by WebHostFace. Let us help make the decision easier, contact us, we can lend a hand with that!
I Have SSL Already, Do I Need To Do Anything?
The ranking boost is applied only to the pages that have SSL on them. Typically, SSL is installed only on your checkout pages which excludes your product pages, content pages, etc. So what you need to make is your whole domain name, all the URLs, all the files, all the includes, all of it, go over HTTPS.
Is There A Negative Side To Going SSL
Switching from HTTP to HTTPS bothers many SEO experts and website owners. There is really nothing to worry about, as long as you do things the right way. Google has assured that if you switch your site over properly, there is no downside. Still the main advice of experts:
- Select the correct type of SSL certificate that is best suited for your site
- Note that all SSL certificates use 2048-bit key
- Use relative url addresses
- Let Google bots crawl your site using HTTPS robots.txt
- Allow indexing of your pages by search engines.
For the website developers’ convenience, Google engineers have made changes to Google Webmaster Tools which allow you to see every indexed url in each protocol – both HTTP and HTTPS.
Be one step ahead of the competition, win the trust of your visitors and increase traffic to your website and sales with only one step: adding SSL certificate!
This Post Has 4 Comments
Cort Tafoya19 Aug 2014
There is really a lot of false data in this article. First of all, when you cite some sources, you are supposed to provide a link to it.
In this particular case the correct link for Google’s announcement should be:
You are also making false assumptions based on never written statements. In Google’s announcement there is no mention about downsides, like you say. Even more, you go all the way stating clearly that there are no downsides. Anyone with basic understanding of HTTPS very well knows that there is quite a disadvantage of the usage of SSL on parts of a website where it is not needed. Instead of educating you I will just refer you to a quite useful article on that topic:
Any professional web developer will tell you that there is absolutely no advantage of protecting pages which have no user interactions whatsoever. Such instance would be the catalog of a shopping cart – there are only images and static text related to the products, there is no user data on those pages. Sure, some dev wannabes claim that cookies transferred via HTTP are insecure, which in theory sounds legit, but in actuality it is like breaking a dam with a toothpick.
And last but not least, you are missing one very large point. As with most of Google’s updates, they are once again trying to force-feed people to use their production. In this case that product is called BoringSSL, which is a fork of OpenSSL adopted officially earlier this year, but started back in 2012. For more info:
While they are directly saying that BoringSSL is not “designed” to “replace” OpenSSL they swiftly started with bold statements as far as “a lot more secure” and “a lot faster” when referring to OpenSSL.
Elena Tileva19 Aug 2014
Hi there, Cort!
Really glad that we are able to discuss this hot topic, with such an SEO professional like you. Thank you very much for the detailed explanation provided in your comment. Please note that the purpose of this blog post is not an in-depth analysis. It is a starter guide for our web hosting customers covering the questions they raised right after the new change in Google ranking system.
Now that being said, the above mentioned questions were indeed not initially raised by Google itself, still they are based on our personal experience as a webhosting provider. Most of clients do not have any experience of SEO at all, however they really want to have their websites perform better in SERPs. We received quite a lot inquiries of our clients, asking whether there will be a common disadvantage of adding an SSL, will that ruin their website, will it skyrocket their website SEO. We had to address all of these questions.
It is a definitely good idea to mention that most SEO experts and web developers insist on adding an SSL only to the webpages that contain only sensitive information. That is quite logical and it has always been.
Google on the other hand is doing their best to make you migrate your whole site to HTTPS. If you have some parts of your site migrated to HTTPS and some parts not, Google will give the boost to the ones on the HTTPS URLs and not to the others. The signal is on a per-URL basis, and not on a site wide basis. We might not like it, but still there are the facts. Google’s John Mueller also said this in the Google hangout video, which can be watched here.
Of course, this process is not easy as a child play and it needs to be done, strictly following specific SEO rules. Otherwise, the effect would be absolutely negative. I have mentioned them in the blog post above.
Still, as I mentioned, this is a very lightweight signal for Google. At least it keeps the connection between your website and website user secure. That being said, even if you don`t switch all of your pages, or even a single one to HTTPs would not make your website disappear from Google. The SEO boost itself is quite small, for now … 🙂
The link we used as a general source for writing our blog post is already quoted, very good note!
Cort Tafoya2 Nov 2014
Wow, so I was googling my name and saw this come up on like page 3 – someone is identifying themselves as me but I never made the above comments. Really creepy. I have not read this article and have no opinion on it.
Elena Tileva3 Nov 2014
Wow, That was really awkward 🙂