How to increase your Google ranking with SSL

By James C | Tuesday, 31 March 2015
Denys Prykhodov / Shutterstock.com

Security is important. But did you know using SSL could help your Google search ranking?

Last year, Google announced that it would be using HTTPS as a "ranking signal" - that is, sites using HTTPS would get a favourable ranking, over ones that don't. Are you using SSL yet?

What is SSL?

Let's back it up. What is SSL and why should you care? SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and in the simplest terms it creates a secure (encrypted) link between a web server and a browser. This is indicated in the address bar of the browser the green padlock symbol and HTTPS, rather than HTTP.

Why should you care about using SSL?

When you're transmitting information you want to know it's safe. Visitors to your website want to know the same thing.

Maybe you don't take payments on your website, or even ask customers for any personal information. If your site doesn't use SSL, that means any data transmitted over an unsecured WiFi network is potentially viewable to a third party. You don't need to have customers sharing private or sensitive information like credit card details, or even have anything to hide, to not want all the information being potentially shared.

If you aren't using SSL, aside from outsiders being able to monitor information shared on your site, your site traffic is also vulnerable to being redirected to a fake version of your website. Can you afford to take that risk?

How does SSL affect your Google ranking?

There are various measures you can take to give your site the best possible ranking in Google, and other search engines. The most important is to have a frequently updated site, with good quality content.

When it comes to security, Google have started checking if websites are using secure, encrypted connections - and rewarding those that do with a slightly higher "ranking". While Google say this currently is only a "very lightweight signal", as they encourage everyone towards using HTTPS it stands to become more important.

To recap, the advantages of SSL include:

  • Peace of mind for your visitors
  • Prevents anyone "listening in" on visitor information
  • Stops anyone from being able to imitate your site
  • Get a better ranking from Google for helping make the web more secure

When considered like that, doesn't it make sense to get SSL certification for your website? Help protect your visitors, secure your site, and get a boost in Google search rankings all at the same time: get your SSL certificate.