Securing your site with an SSL Certificate helps give your rankings a boost

29 January 2016

Online security or a lack thereof has been one of the most significant challenges webmasters and online businesses face in the race to secure customers ever since the evolution of the internet.

Regardless of the level of security imposed at a server level or in terms of passwords at the user-account level of a website, hackers continue to be successful in launching and executing serious and significant cyber attacks in the area of Identity and Credit Card theft online.

Fortunately in the modern online world, most unauthorised transactions are protected by cardholder charge-back schemes intended to ensure confidence in the cardholders’ mind but also to ensure you’re not out of pocket for transactions resulting from fraud.

An SSL Certificate is a feature of many e-commerce websites and represents a key requirement for PCI Compliance. Essentially the purposes of an SSL Certificate is to encrypt data transmission between your internet browser and the web server of the website. This means that any erroneous attempts to intercept confidential information such as your credit card number and expiry date can be identified by the browser.

An SSL Certificate won’t protect your server from being compromised or the encryption of card details being breached if they are vaulted and stored on your server however it will reduce a significant amount of risk in collecting cards from your website.

More importantly however an SSL Certificate is now believed to improve the authority and positioning of your website in Google Search Results. According to Google’s Announcement:

Over the past few months we’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now it’s only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content — while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.

Whilst the impact is unlikely to be significant bearing in mind that Google rarely (if at all) give away information to help you improve your ranking positions, it is worthwhile considering installing a certificate on your website for the mere security benefits if nothing else.

Be sure to choose an SSL Certificate that is accepted by mobile browsers such as our recommended AlphaSSL product which represents excellent value and fantastic acceptance across desktop and mobile.

Clients that engage us for digital marketing services will be provided the opportunity to have an SSL Installed on their website at no cost.

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