Are you nervous about how the new Google algorithm update with the addition to reward sites with an SSL certificate will impact your business? Every company that has a website is trying to stay ahead of the curve and make sure that they rank well online. When a modification of search engine algorithms is rumored to be coming down the pipe, SEO experts and business owners start to sweat and wonder how it will impact them.
It's been rumored for quite some time that Google will be including an addition that will account for the presence of an SSL certificate in their new ranking algorithm for websites displayed on their search engine results pages. It may have some business owners a little anxious about what will happen to their rankings because of a few lines of code. We want to let you know that this is a positive move for e-commerce and provide you with some information about what the update will mean for your website.
What is the Purpose of the SSL Addition to the Google Rankings Algorithm?
Did you know that 186 billion dollars was spent on online transactions in 2015? (That was in the United States alone.) That's a lot of cash and represents some significant economic activity. Google recognizes that businesses have a responsibility to their customers that trust them with their money. The main purpose of this update is to assure users that they can have confidence in online e-commerce. Google, and other search engines, want any money that's transferred online to safely get where it needs to go by rewarding websites that have SSL certificates.
What is an SSL Certificate?
An SSL certificate is a collection of data files that encrypt a website over an https protocol. This creates a secure connection from the website to the server. If the URL of a website begins with https, it is secured by an SSL certificate and you can feel comfortable making a purchase or sharing personal financial information on that particular site. The transaction is secure, credit card information will be protected and you can be sure that you're dealing with a dependable online retailer.
Do I Need an SSL Certificate?
If you're unsure if the move to https protocol is right for your business, here are three situations in which you should definitely have an SSL certificate:
- If you have a site where visitors need to login and authenticate that they are registered.
- If you are an e-commerce site that offers their products for sale and accepts payments online.
- If your site requests the contact information of visitors.
Why Should I Get an SSL Certificate?
- For Search Engine Ranking Boost: Installing an SSL certificate will provide a boost for your site on the search engine rankings page. The algorithm update is intended to rank your site higher than sites that don't have an SSL certificate.
- To Beef Up Your Security: If your site has an SSL certificate it will secure and encrypt any personal or financial data that is shared on the site. It will prevent this information from being intercepted by hackers who want to gain access to this information.
- Your Company Will Know Their Customers: Along with information encryption, a lot of https protocols require customers to log in before conducting transactions. This allows your company to know that you are dealing with a dependable customer.
- It Builds Customer Trust: No company wants to deal with the ramifications of a data leak from their organization. Can you imagine how frustrated you would feel if you provided your contact information, financial information, or personal details and you were later informed that this data was compromised because of a hacking incident? Converting to https allows your customers to trust you enough to buy from you and share sensitive information.
What Does the SSL Addition Algorithms Mean for Your SEO Ranking?
What does this Google algorithm update really mean for your business? If you have a solid e-commerce presence and you aim to be a reputable online business, you probably already have an SSL certificate and have converted over to the https protocol. If this is the case for your site, there's no need to panic and drastically pivot your SEO strategy, you will not be impacted significantly by this update. Continue to attract customers by focusing on inbound marketing efforts that are driven by interesting content that is relevant to your industry and prospects. If you are a new business that currently offers online shopping or money transfers, you will want to make sure that your site has an SSL certificate to take advantage of the benefits of Google's algorithm update.
As long as your company doesn't accept online payments and doesn't transfer money, you won't really notice a major change in your website's ranking. It may change slightly, but the shift in ranking probably won't last. Although, you should seriously consider switching to https as part of your plan for the maintenance of your website.
What Should You Do to Prepare for the SSL Certificate Update?
If you've made the decision that obtaining an SSL certificate is in the best interest of your website, make sure that you do some research and learn more about how to prepare for the SSL algorithm update so you don't encounter any issues that will impact your most important marketing tool.