One of the hottest topics in the technological community is site security and user privacy. Even search engine giants like Google are demanding tighter security regulations of the internet moving forward. Thus, website owners have to be wondering if they need to ensure their site is compliant with the best and current site security practices used in the industry today. If they have shown to have complied, then their site will be favored in all current and future search engine results.

One of the top security measures is for all website owners to ensure their site is secure. This brings some ease to site users as they know their favorite host is combating any threat of the website being hacked by outside sources. However, to achieve this goal, you must, as a website owner, have a good understanding of the importance of SSL Certificates and their role in the site’s SEO.

What is an SSL Certificate

A Secured Socket Layer or SSL Certificate is a source to create an encrypted connection between the web browser and the server. Using an SSL Certificate creates an encrypted key that protects sensitive information submitted by site users. When installed on a web server, an SSL Certificate activates the padlock and the https protocol after a secure connection has been established between the server and the browser.

Usually, an SSL Certificate is used to secure credit card transactions, data transfer, and login passwords from the site’s users. More recently, SSL Certificates have become the norm when securing the browser of social media sites. The idea is to bind together a domain name, server, or hostname with the location of the company and host’s identity.

Website owners who want more site security will begin the process by researching all free and paid SSL Certificates offered by their hosting service. Depending on the provider, there are ways to acquire SSL Certificates. It could mean installing a WordPress plugin or re-routing your website through a cloud service, which may be an easier and more convenient way to gain immediate site security.

If neither is a viable option, then you may have to purchase an SSL Certificate elsewhere and install it onto your server manually. Once a secure connection has been established, all web traffic between the server and the browser is secured as well. Once the SSL Certificate is successfully manually installed on your server, the application protocol changes to https.

How Does an SSL Certificate Protect Your Site’s Users

All internet users choose a website that ensures their personal information offered while purchasing an item on the site’s store remains secured and no threat of their identity being stolen. This seems like a no-brainer as no internet user wants their personal information or identity taken over by hackers. Secure websites are more appealing because they provide the comfort in knowing a user’s personal information offered to the site will be passed onto their server encryptically. Enhancing a user’s experience is your main job as the site’s host.

Owning a non-secure website lowers the rate of users completing a transaction on your site’s online store. All website hosts have to understand there are dangerous hackers who want to disrupt and corrupt the digital universe. With security in mind, search engine browsers require all website owners to authenticate themselves by marking their site with an https. This marking states to users that their site is secure as those websites without the “s” are labeled by Google and other browsers as not being secured.

Often, they will alert users not to visit those sites as they might be infected with a dangerous virus that could attach itself onto a user’s mobile devices. Installing an SSL Certificate and having a fully-secured website increases the likelihood of users being active on your site by creating an account to gain instant access via email alerts. It’s best to avoid any threat of being labeled a site vulnerable to cyber attacks from hackers and other unknown sources.

Is an SSL Certificate Required?

Technically, no website is required to have an SSL Certificate in order to become an active member of the internet. However, all search engine browsers will inform a user that entering your site is at their own risk as it has been deemed an unsecured website. One such service provider, Google, offers a warning page entitled “Not Secure” before logging onto a web page. Thus, offering a choice to the user. If you aren’t going to access an SSL Certificate, you may want to consider creating a full warning page before allowing all users onto your site.

If your site isn’t secure, it leaves your users’ personal information vulnerable to would-be hackers. There is no worse feeling or death knoll to a website, then sending an incoming email to subscribers warning them that their personal information might have been compromised due to your site being hacked by outside sources. Thus, it’s important to keep your website secure, which provides users some assurance to share personal information with your site’s server. Overall, your site’s commercial success is gained by enhancing a user’s site experience, confidence to share personal information with your server, and trusting of the site itself. Having an SSL Certificate will impact your SEO and current and future search engine rankings.

How Does SSL Certificate Interact With SEO

Having an SSL Certificate in hand is becoming more critical than ever before for a website, especially in the area of SEO and search engine rankings. Its significance has increased over time. Search engines are rewarding those sites which are secure and penalized those that fail to meet the strict guidelines. The statistical numbers don’t lie in the area of increased traffic per search engine rankings based on websites having an SSL Certificate. Google continues to place an emphasis on the importance of SSL Certificates, so websites either conform or suffer the consequences. And the impact will be seen in their SEO rankings as the year progresses.

Google’s strict guidelines do require more mobile-friendly websites to become more secure. The hope is that this action becomes the standard among all websites, and unsecured sites will be forced to conform or risk being left behind. Internet users won’t feel confident on their websites because they don’t have the right type of site security needed to protect their personal information. All website owners need to keep their site secure because it does gain current and future benefits to all. Thus, it’s crucial to have an SSL Certificate for the protection of your website, site users, and gaining a more favorable SEO and search engine ranking.