If you are among the vast majority of internet users who believe that the current cyber laws are good enough to protect their rights online, then you are probably right. And yes, many believe that the current laws do not protect their online rights and privacy. Google claims to prioritize its users’ security and privacy and takes measures to fix all security bugs as and when they are reported.
To make the users’ browsing experience better and more secure, Google announced that it started to use HTTPS as a ranking signal in 2014. It also gave webmasters the time to switch from HTTP to HTTPS. That was when many website owners started to think about securing their sites with an SSL certificate, as many were not even aware of SSL certificates and website security. Google started to encourage all website owners to switch to HTTPS to keep everyone on the internet secure and gave them tips on the type of SSL certificates they will need to use to secure their respective sites. As there was a lot of buzz about HTTPS, internet users also started to look for HTTPS and secure connections.
While many switched to HTTPS and some are yet to secure their sites with SSL certificates, they are still not sure whether getting an SSL certificate for their website is worth it and whether it really helps them improve their search rankings.
HTTPS is an extension of HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). Unlike HTTP, this HTTPS protocol is used to secure all communications between a website and the browser.
It will offer a secure connection to people visiting websites and secure the data they provide on web pages that require their personal data. It is not just sufficient to secure only those pages that require personal data but it is wise to secure the whole website with an SSL certificate.
Installing an SSL certificate will not just help secure the data of the website visitors but the website too. SSL certificates will help websites gain user trust and help website owners verify website ownership. HTTPS protects websites and also prevents any third party from intercepting network connections and stealing data. Websites with SSL certificates will have a padlock icon on the address bar before the URL. If your website does not have an SSL certificate, web browsers can flag your website and display a warning message saying the website is not safe, which could result in driving your visitors away from your website and business.
While HTTPS alone may not help improve search rankings, there are other ranking factors like high-quality content, page speed, internal and external links, etc., that website owners have to focus on to improve search rankings. However, search engines like Google consider HTTPS to be one of the most important ranking factors. Websites without HTTPS may not even show up on the search results and even if a visitor happens to find one such website, they will only see a warning message stating that the website is insecure.
Whether you are starting a simple website or a large website, it is recommended to have an SSL in place from the day you start your website. But you may consider continuing with HTTP if yours is a simple blog and you cannot afford an SSL certificate.
Getting an SSL Certificate
To make sure your rankings do not drop when you switch from HTTP to HTTPS, you will need to carefully choose and install an SSL certificate. Likewise, with three different types of SSL certificates available, you will need to choose the right one for your website. Domain Validation (DV), Extended Validation (EV), and Organization Validation (OV) are the three types of SSL certificates. We recommend comparing the features of each type and going with the one you believe is the best for your website.
You can go for an EV SSL certificate if yours is an e-commerce website or a bigger website. DV SSL certificates are great for smaller websites as they are issued almost immediately and not as expensive as the other two types of SSL certificates. Likewise, you can go for an OV SSL certificate if yours is a business website that has login screens. We recommend getting an SSL certificate from reputed companies like Comodo. Click here if you wish to compare SSL certificates and find the right one for your website.
The question is whether switching to HTTPS really helps improve search rankings. This is something all website owners wish to know. HTTPS does affect search rankings, as websites without SSL protection are flagged by search engines. This means if your website does not have an SSL certificate, your website may not even show up on the search results and visitors may not open it because of the warnings search engines display. If your website includes payment pages and pages that request sensitive user information, it is wise to secure it with an SSL certificate.