On August 6, 2014, Google announced that your website security now plays a part in SEO rankings. This announcement is part of their efforts to “make the Internet safer.”
So, what does this mean for you and your website?
Currently, Google stated that the ranking signal from having a security (SSL) certificate installed on your site is low. So, for the short term, you shouldn’t see much of a change. But for the long term, you may want to think about adding an SSL certificate to your annual website budget. This is because Google also stated that over time they may strengthen the weight of this signal in SEO rankings, encouraging all website owners to keep their website visitors safe and secure.
What is SSL and HTTPS
For those of you who may not know what SSL or HTTPS are, SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer, and HTTPS stands for Hyper-Text Protocol with SSL Encryption. So, I am sure knowing what these long acronyms stand for has made things more unclear! Basically, these two items, allow you to establish a secure connection and encrypt any and all data that is transmitted between you and the website you are visiting. This ensures that your communication with the website that has SSL is more safeguarded and secure!
How do you make your website secure?
Google gave some guidelines on how to get started securing your site.
Decide the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate
Use 2048-bit key certificates
Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
Check out our Site move article for more guidelines on how to change your website’s address
Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag.