SSL and SEO: Does Site Security Affect Your Ranking?

Google has always proclaimed that protecting the privacy and security of users’ information is a top priority. Still, a large majority of people on the internet don’t feel as secure as they believe they should, which has led to a new focus on SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates and HTTPS protocols (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). Particularly, companies and their webmasters wonder how much an SSL certificate, or lack of one, will affect their search engine optimization (SEO) rankings and online marketing efforts. In a nutshell, site security can affect your SEO ranking, and with increased emphasis on protecting users’ data, SSL and HTTPS will become increasingly more important.

What is an SSL Certificate?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and it’s the standard technology for ensuring that the information passed between servers and browsers remains private and protected. Most frequently, SSL certificates are essential for websites or webpages that ask for sensitive information, from contact info to credit card numbers, and more. However, even sites that don’t deal in sensitive information can still benefit greatly from securing their website traffic. An SSL certificate encrypts the data being sent and received so that if a hacker intercepts the data, it will remain encrypted and, therefore, unusable to the hacker. Users will know that their connection to your website is secure when they see the green HTTPS icon at the beginning of their URL address bar.

What Search Engines Say About HTTPS

So, does this mean that secure sites rank higher? In 2014, Google announced that it will begin using SSL security measures as a ranking signal for sites that show up in search results. There are still relatively few websites that have optimal, fully functioning security protocols, and SSL security is not yet a major ranking signal. However, site security is becoming an increasingly larger factor in how high websites are ranked, and before long, insecure sites could suffer a significant blow to their overall rankings.

The good news is that, at MDPM Consulting, security is also one of our top priorities, and clients can make the switch to a more secure server without additional charge! Our goal is to help all of our clients build and maintain high organic SEO rankings, and site security is just one of the measures we take to achieve that goal.

Wondering if it’s worth making your website more secure? For our clients, there’s no question: we do it for you for free! To take your online presence and marketing to the next level, email MDPM Consulting at [email protected], or give us a call at 972-781-8861!