Beginning July 1, 2018, Google started marking sites without an SSL certificate as NOT SECURE. This affects your search rankings. Websites without SSL / HTTPS will be ranked below sites that have SSL certificates.
Here’s how SSL Certificates and website security will impact your website traffic.
An SSL Certificate or Secure Sockets Layer provides an extra layer of security when data is moved between your site and the viewer’s browser. When potential customers visit your site in search of products or services, the information that they send to you and the information that you send back to them is encrypted and therefore well protected by the HTTPS encryption algorithm. This is absolutely the best way to conduct your business. Not only does it provide your customers with a better, more secure experience, but it provides them with the assurance that they can trust you.
Google places so much value on HTTPS that it now uses it as a ranking signal which will be even more relevant after July 1, 2018, when it marks websites without SSL Certificates as NOT SECURE.
Here are a few advantages you and your SEO work will gain when you switch to HTTPS:
Your Rankings Will Increase
According to Google, those that switch from HTTP sites to HTTPS sites will see an initial slight increase in their rankings. Data analysis tells us that HTTPS sites, on average, have higher rankings than HTTP-URL’s. Take note that, while you may find it difficult to quantify after you switch to HTTPS, the ranking of your website will likely continue to increase over time.
Referrer Data from Your Visitors is Preserved and Protected
Referrer data is the information where traffic originates when it passes through a site. The data is used by websites and web servers to determine where people are visiting them from, so they can either, tailor their advertising and promotions to them, or, record the data for statistical purposes. This data passes through HTTP sites and HTTPS sites differently. First, when visitors pass through an HTTP site, their referral information is sent directly and unencrypted. This is problematic for obvious reasons, but, not to worry because, as you may have already guessed, a switch to an HTTPS site will remedy this issue. HTTPS sites, like HTTP sites, provide referral data, but unlike HTTP sites, they do so while keeping it secure.
Better Privacy and Security
Beyond the basic idea of encryption, there are several ways HTTPS provides privacy and security for your website and SEO goals.
- Stops third parties from tampering with data.
- Authenticates the website, making sure it is the one the server is meant to be communicating with.
- Encrypts ALL communication on your website, including URLs, thereby protecting information like credit card numbers and browsing history.
- Makes your site more secure for your visitors.
- Keeps your search rankings with Google
Want to stay relevant and well-ranked by Google and provide a safe and positive online experience for your users, then you really have no other option but to switch to HTTPS. One thing we do recommend is that, if and when you make the switch, you inform Google of the update. That way, they will begin boosting your rankings more quickly. So, don’t wait! Switch to HTTPS today.
To assist you with this issue we’ve put together 2 packages to get you secure and optimize your website and online presence – Click this link for more information.