SSL or Secure Socket Layer certificates help websites improve the security of data shared between a user and a server.
Now, SSL has become a standard requirement for websites that take data security seriously. While we expect that most of the websites use them effectively, that is not the case.
Only 59.5% of websites use SSL certificates.
Well, if you are not using SSL like Comodo SSL certificate, RapidSSL certificate, GlobalSign SSL certificate, etc. then, you are missing big on your search engine results.
Did I say search engine results?
I did, right?
Apart from adding layers of security, SSL certificates can also help you boost the search engine ranks of your website.
Did you know?
If not, the following might entice to get an SSL certificate for your website.
Now, let us explain how SSL certificates can help you rank better in Google search results.
Google values user security and SSL certificates enhance user experience
Google is all about user value. No matter what you do, if you are able to add value to the customer and make their experience on the web better, Google will always support you.
Google says in its Webmaster Central Blog that HTTPS are considered a ranking factor—it means that your website with an SSL certificate will rank better against a similar website without the HTTPS protection.
As we have already discussed early, user value is an important metric for Google. It calculates that with an SSL certificate installed on a website to protect the data shared by the user, an HTTPS website is improving the overall user-value on the web.
Apart from that, Google is also very serious about security.
Not only do they use SSL certificates on their websites such as search, mail and drive they also urge everyone else to use the same.
However, this begs a new question—since there are over 200 ranking factors for a search result, how does this exactly work?
That’s surely a good question to consider, don’t you think?
What makes this really false is the fact that a business can operate without using an SSL certificate if they do not collect any kind of sensitive information from its users.
Even then from an SEO point of view it is really important as Google itself has stated that SSL certificate is a search engine ranking factor.
Google does not really talk about the ranking factors that they use to rank millions of websites against keywords and key phrases. Therefore, when it does, it has to be really important.
And, as Google has dedicated a page it to explain the importance of SSL certificates and the use of the same as a ranking factor underlines. It shows the importance of an SSL certificate on your website.
A few other ways SSL certificate can affect your search engine ranking
It is imperative to understand that having an SSL certificate on your website will not automatically assure you higher search rankings in Search Engine Result Pages. Along with SSL certificates a crop of other things also needed to be considered.
If you are really working hard to keep everything else working for your search rankings, having an SSL certificate will boost your efforts and complement it.
That, in fact, is the objective.
When SSL certificates are used on a website, all browsers like Chrome and Firefox use visual warnings to users about the concerns that might arise from visiting or interacting with such a site.
As behaviors like these can happen, Google will surely take notice.
There is no doubt that the SEO of a website will be affected when Google sees that users exit websites immediately after opening the same without interacting with any other pages of the same.
Google will interpret this as lower user-experience and thus will pull down your websites it was ranking higher previously. If you know about SEO, you might realize that bounce rate is bad news for SEO and search engines.
Along with this, there are other restrictions that come when your website does not have an SSL certificate which may adversely affect your search positions.
- If your website uses HTTP instead of HTTPS and when you get a large amount of data from a particular source, you may not be able to learn about the same since HTTP will show is a direct traffic, which can affect your analytics.
- Another important aspect to consider is the fact that when you are not on HTTPS, Google tends to withhold referral data to themselves, which again will adversely affect the insights you develop from Google Analytics.
- Not having a layer of security with an SSL certificate can increase the chances of cyber attacks. When your visitors know that your website is no longer safe and start to visit your competitor that has an SSL certificate, Google can rank your competitor website higher above you. This will also bring down your search rankings in SERPs.
According to a case study conducted by Brian Dean from Backlinko, SSL certificates are one of the moderately influential ranking factors that help Google determine the search ranking of a website when all other elements are in great display.
So that’s the role of SSL certificates on search rankings on websites. The World Wide Web is an ocean of websites and you need to do everything that takes to rank your websites higher in search engine ranks.
When it comes to Google, if you are not higher on the first page, you are not in the game at all.
Therefore, along with adding a layer protection to your websites, it makes absolute sense to use SSL certificates on your websites to ensure more user trust, better user experience and higher search engine results.
Now, when are you going to get an SSL certificate?