We turn to the internet for everything. From selling to buying, reading the latest news or following some sort of trend, it is an all new E-world. Now more than ever, online security has become a necessity.
Google and the rest of the top web browsers have been working on security for a long time. Last year Google and Mozilla began the push towards universal encryption by changing the UI (User Interfaces) on their web browsers. In addition to the padlock icon, any website with SSL is marked “Secure”. See the below graphic.
Ultimately search engines are pushing for user and customer experience to be more than just satisfactory. While they have been suggesting or encouraging businesses to start following best practise of hosting their sites on a secure, encrypted platform, it was only a matter of time before they took the next drastic step in demanding a more secure internet.
Of course, search engines will reward your website by implementing this. So where does one start?
WHAT IS AN SSL CERTIFICATE? HOW DOES IT WORK?
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a web browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and web browsers remain private (encrypted).
If you don’t have an SSL certificate, a secure connection cannot be established, which means, your company information will not be digitally connected to a cryptographic key (the process of converting ordinary information (plaintext) into unintelligible text (ciphertext).
An SSL Certificate has the following information:
- Name of the holder.
- Serial number and expiration date.
- Copy of the certificate holder’s public key.
- Digital Signature of the certificate-issuing authority.
We realize not everyone is technically gifted to install this onto their hosting server and due to the sensitive nature of this type of installation, we suggest having a professional, such as Elemental, do this for you.
CONVERTING FROM HTTP TO HTTPS
From when the internet was first conceived, the standard way to share information over the internet was via HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol).
Over time it wasn’t difficult for the more tech-advanced individuals to intercept, steal and cause havoc with this information.
With this in mind, the powers that be created a more sophisticated protocol namely HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure). With HTTPS, if anyone tries to intercept the message between the sender (the person browsing the website, through a web browser) and the recipient (the hosting server), they would not be able to decipher this message as it is encrypted. Only the sender and the recipient, who know the “code“, are able to decipher the message.
HOW DOES AN SSL CERTIFICATE IMPACT YOUR SEARCH ENGINE RANKING?
Ranking on Search Engines – Search Engines are supporting websites who follow best practices. When enabling an SSL certificate and converting from HTTP to HTTPS, your website will automatically start ranking higher in these search engines.
With more visibility, comes more traffic – A higher visibility (In the search engine results) will result in more traffic to your website and customers will have confidence in seeing a secure connection. Therefore, having your website securely hosted has an impact on your potential online sales/lead generation.
Empower trust – Visitors will find your website as verified & secured and would not hesitate to browse and interact with your website.
Data integrity – SSL ensures that the transmitted data will remain intact and encrypted, ensuring that no one will take advantage of travelling information.
SSL IS THE FUTURE
There is nothing to lose by enabling an SSL Certificate or converting from HTTP to HTTPS on your website. You are not only creating a secure and pleasant experience for visitors but at the same time receiving rewards from Google and other search engines.