April 20, 2021
If you have a website, you have probably heard of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates. SSL certificates make your site and data more secure. It is a way to assure users that your site is safe for them to visit. With the shift to an online and remote work environment, if you do not have an SSL certificate for your site, that needs to change.
In 2018, Google made a change that essentially required websites to have their SSL certificate to be deemed safe and therefore be ranked for SEO purposes. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol over SSL (HTTPS) signifies the SSL certificate at the beginning of a URL. Google automatically tags failure to have the HTTPS designation as a “not secure” site.
Every business should have an SSL certificate identifying their website as a secure one that the user can trust. So if you are here to learn more about what an SSL certificate is and why it is essential, you are in the right place.
The SSL certificate allows for communication encryption between the web server and the internet browser. An encryption key encrypts the data, ensuring that only the user and the website can access the data. As soon as a user accesses your site, the internet sends an encryption key to the user’s web browser. This encryption is the start of the secure transfer of data between the website and the user.
The SSL certificate is composed of the following:
Google requires an SSL certificate for websites. Without it, your site gets tagged as “not secure.” This action by Google is in line with privacy policies. The goal is to disclose everything possible to the user to be confident in accessing and sharing their information with websites. This trend toward security is nothing new. Google started encouraging websites to switch to HTTPS in 2014 with their initiative “HTTPS Everywhere.”
As a result of Google’s initiative, they also rank sites without HTTPS lower than those with HTTPS. This weighted ranking is because the value they place in the security of websites is part of their ranking algorithm.
SSL certificates are available in several ways, with the most common being through the website hosting company. Some companies charge for the service, while others may provide it free of charge. When your site is secure, there is a closed padlock image near the URL. If not secure, the padlock displays as open and unlocked – a bad omen from the algorithm, to be sure.
As a user or a website owner, you can check a particular website’s security with an SSL Server Test.
The primary purpose of the SSL certificate is to protect and encrypt data that passes between the user and the website. The data passes to the user with an encryption key and only the user who receives the encryption key can open that data. In addition, SSL serves the purpose of preventing hackers from accessing the data. It all happens pretty seamlessly behind the scenes for the user, but it is a critical safety component for users and website owners alike.
The SSL certificate authenticates your website. We all try to do whatever we can to protect our identities, whether that be through Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) wallets to safeguard credit cards or SSL certificates to protect data.
Hackers (Phishers) and identity thieves advance technologically every day. They find ways to scam the elderly out of retirement funds. They haunt forums and other online spaces. SSL certificates are just one part of the solution to verify identities.
Google added this requirement for their rankings. So if your site lacks the protection of an SSL certificate, Google’s algorithm will flag it and penalize your pages with a lower ranking. A low ranking by Google is the scarlet letter of bad SEO, and can all but eliminate your ability to grow regardless of what products or services you offer until corrected.
As a customer, you want your data to be safe and protected. Credit card information, personal and business addresses, phone numbers, and other identifying information are vulnerable items that must be protected to avoid data leaks and fines (to say the least). This is to say nothing of access to medical information and social security information that is stored online for record-keeping and patient access. Customers and clients need to know that you are keeping their private data private.
SSL protects the visitors’ sensitive information like their credit card details. SSL makes their details private, secure and confidential — keeping them protected from being stolen by malicious hackers over the internet.
Because there are legal requirements for online credit card use and acceptance, and HTTPS allows a site to satisfy those requirements. With the certificate, you’ll have confidential transactions and earn your customers’ trust.
Having a secure website can put you on the map, literally and virtually. If you have a physical location and people are not visiting, it could be because they are not finding your website – or your business – online. Make sure that your customers know your site is secure.
We can help you with that. At Bizzoo, our easy-to-use website creator system puts you in control of your website design. Choose the elements you want and our team of expert developers build it for you and have you up and running within 48 hours. It’s that simple.
Get started today, and you’ll be on the map in no time.