SSL will assist your search rankings in many different ways
You do know you need an SSL certificate for safety purposes, but did you know that SSL is also improving SEO?
That is real.
Just installing SSL can give you a boost, but other optimizations such as Accelerated Mobile Pages and HTTP/2 require SSL as well.
Let’s look at it closer.
HTTPS is a Signal search ranking
When purchasing an SSL certificate, it ‘s important that you configure your entire website for HTTPS, as opposed to just the areas that require it for data security. There are a few reasons for this, not the least of which is that it protects the privacy of users by preventing third parties from seeing what pages they access. Yet hosting your entire website over HTTPS also boosts your SEO, for the sake of this discussion.
Google announced back in 2014 it’s introducing HTTPS as a ranking signal. The popularity of that signal has only grown since then, as the web giant pushed for universal encryption. Some experts estimate that the signal will raise up to 5 per cent.
I only get credit for the pages served over HTTPS. And it’s not just the website that needs to be served over HTTPS, but any properties or third party platforms associated with the page too.
Certain Optimisations including SSL
In addition to offering a boost only for proper deployment, SSL also helps you to maximize the ability for search ranking in other ways too. As you well know, Google is not looking for pages at this point with lots of keywords stuffed into it or millions of back-links to it – these are important, but they are no longer what makes or breaks SEO – what Google wants is a page that returns the most helpful, relevant result for specific mobile phone search queries.
That means the mobile performance is a huge part of SEO nowadays. Enter Mobile Pages Accelerated (AMP). Did you know that if they are not encrypted, you can’t make AMP pages ready?
To take advantage of AMP you must have SSL
The same is true of HTTP/2. Performance is once again a big ranking factor and HTTP/2, the successor to HTTP, provides considerably better performance over its predecessor.
You do need SSL, though.
Let’s Wrap Up
There isn’t much else to tell there. The browser group stopped asking in 2017, and is now pushing websites to use SSL more or less. We add negative indicators, and penalize where they can in an attempt to encrypt the network.
Yet beyond the encryption issues and enforcement with browsers, SSL can be a boost for SEO. And as more time goes by and more and more sites are implementing SSL, the pendulum will gradually swing the other way to where it is a competitive disadvantage not getting SSL.
To move to HTTPS now, take advantage of SSL’s SEO benefits while they are still free.