Growing SEO Importance of SSL Certificates and their Advantages
Online business or e-business is the best use of the internet made by business owners. It has brushed up all the barriers of physical business, and has emerged as one of the fastest growing businesses in today’s world. Global access of products, quick deliveries at doorsteps, effective savings on maintenance costs, and the opportunity to do control business from any place in the world, are a few of its advantages.
But e-business has its own set of disadvantages too. The major disadvantage of e-business is that your confidential information does not stay confidential, if enough security measures are not taken.
Negligence in security measures, not only increases the risk of cyber-attacks and huge monetary frauds, but also causes irreparable damage to your business. Since many small businesses can’t invest in security tools nor have expertise to fight against sophisticated hackers, due to lack of financial resources and knowledge, SSL certificate security, comes as a pleasant solution to many.
What is an SSL certificate?
SSL is the abbreviation of Secured Socket Layers. This digital certificate consists of authentication logo and cryptographic keys which are essential to encrypt and decrypt the data in transit, communicated between internet browsers and web servers.
It also comprises the certificate holder’s name, expiry date, serial number and the digital signature of a CA (certificate authority).
Functioning of SSL Certificate?
The functioning of SSL certificates is based on public key cryptography. This requires 2 different cryptographic keys, i.e. the Public Key and the Private Key, who encrypt and decrypt the data respectively.
The best part of SSL encryption security is that the information which is encrypted by the public key can be decrypted by the private key only. No other outsider or hacker can decrypt or penetrate through the information.
The public key should match with the private key for a secure connection. This is called Asymmetric Encryption.
How to set up an SSL Certificate?
SSL certificate setup is quite easy.
- Log in to Web Host Manager (WHM)
- Enter login details, i.e. Username and Password
- Go to Homepage
- Click SSL/TLS
- In SSL/TLS > Click Install an SSL certificate on a Domain
- Enter your domain name
- Copy and Paste your Certificate file in the Certificate Box
- Later click “Install”
Importance of SSL certificate for SEO:
SSL certificate security is a transformation from HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) to HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure).
Business owners were petrified about the dangers of online business, i.e. phishing attacks, MIM attacks or wiretapping, while customers were scared about making any online transactions due to data leak of their sensitive information.
Google came with a solution to eliminate the fears of both these parties, by declaring SSL certificate security as a ranking factor in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
Hence the value of HTTPS rose instantly. Even popular browsers display a “Not Secure” warning whenever a user opens an HTTP site.
SSL certificate encrypts the sensitive information in an undecipherable format, making it impossible for penetration.
Advantages of SSL Certificates:
- Encryption Security:
Sites having SSL certificates installed on them have their data secured with encryption. All the server browser communications are encrypted, so as to protect the sensitive data being stolen by cyber-thieves.
There are multiple types and brands of SSL certificates available in the market, which secure your website in multiple ways.
Example: RapidSSL Wildcard SSL certificate is available at https://www.cheapsslshop.com/rapidssl, at a discounted rate of $68/ year. Its 256-bit encryption security and 2048-bit digital signatures, act as a shield to unknown sources, and protect your business entity.
Since SSL certificates are verified by authorised agencies, and issued by a trustworthy CA, sites having SSL certificate installed on it, are proved to be genuine.
The significance of SSL in SEO is visible, in its strong security to protect online transactions, made by users from various computers and multiple locations. Though there are various ways of authentication, ranging from single factor authentication, multi factor authentication, OAuth etc. SSL authentication is the most powerful one. It gives a tough time for hackers to penetrate your networks.
- Data Integrity:
SSL security is a combination of encryption security, authentication of data and data integrity. It ensures privacy and confidentiality of data, thus providing high data integrity and increase in trust.
- Trust Factor:
Apart from encryption and authentication, trust factor is very important for business success.
With the increasing customer awareness about cyber frauds and malicious attacks on websites, visitors check the security status of the website before approaching for any transactions.
The first security check is to confirm whether an SSL certificate is installed on site or not. They also check its visual indicators, like padlock and HTTPS and the “connection is secure” message.
This ensures them that the site is legitimate, thus making them feel confident to approach for transactions.
Research indicates that almost 84% of the users avoid purchases and completely abandon unsecured sites (HTTP).
- Quick Page Loading Speed:
HTTPS sites have a better page load speed and site speed as compared to HTTP sites which is an added advantage. Users usually don’t prefer slow loading sites and abandon those sites for other competitors.
The ideal page load speed is 3 seconds. Research as per Marketing Dive indicates that 53% of the mobile users abandon sites, whose site load speed is more than 3 seconds.
In short, you lose out on 50% of the business, just because of site speed too.
- SSL satisfies PCI DSS Compliance:
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) has set up specific rules for managing and securing online payments. All ecommerce industries dealing with online transactions need to compulsorily fulfil all PCI requirements for SSL certificates on their sites, to prevent MIM and phishing attacks.
Since SSL certificates secure the site and data with robust encryption, it becomes impossible for hackers to penetrate through them and hence they are considered as the backbone of PCI DSS.
- Google Compulsion:
Google has become strict on web security norms and has announced SSL certificate security compulsory from 2018. All popular browsers display a warning message stating “Not Secure” on unsecured sites (not having SSL certificate installed). Some browsers also block these sites for the safety of visitor’s information too.
After Google announced HTTPS as a ranking signal, the SEO importance of SSL increased drastically.
- Visual Security Logos:
SSL certificates come with trust logos which are visible on all pages of the site. Visitors look out for these trust badges, before making purchases and hence these logos prove to be credible for users.
The extra “S” makes a lot of difference in attaining as well as retaining customers. Web security in any form plays a pivotal role in the success, as well as reputation of your online business. In fact, Google shows negative indicators and penalises sites not having SSL encryption security.
Google’s Webmaster Blog dreams of having a secured web in future and SSL has come forward to fulfil that dream. SSL complies with the majority of the browsers and servers and hence the SEO significance of SSL security cannot be ignored.
Go for SSL security and increase your SEO!!