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The Importance of SSL Certificates to Search Engines

HostPapa Blog / Security  / The Importance of SSL Certificates to Search Engines
22 Nov

The Importance of SSL Certificates to Search Engines

SSL Certificates have become more and more common today as internet security is a constant concern for everyone, as well as for giant internet companies like Google. Every day, Google blacklists over 10,000 websites, removing them from their search results and in turn removing the majority of visitors that go to those websites. This can not only hurt your sales, but also bruise your reputation.

Nobody, except for Google, really knows what goes into their search rankings or what causes a website to be blacklisted. However, according to a recent Sucuri study, some of the things used in search ranking include domain name age, keywords, links, and most interestingly, the importance of SSL certificates.

 

What is an SSL certificate?

SSL Certificates will appear as a green padlock next to a URL along with the green https at the start of a URL.

An SSL certificate encrypts data as it is sent and received between servers and computers. Most often, SSL certificates secure credit card information during online transactions, login information, and data transfers.

SSL certificates don’t secure a website, but rather, secure visitors’ information. There are some obvious indicators that a website has an SSL certificate enabled: the green padlock to the left of the URL and the HTTPS at the beginning of the URL.

 

What d ssl certificates have to do with Google?

With the mounting threats against online security, Google has moved to make the Internet a safer place by removing harmful websites from their search results and displaying warnings to anyone visiting a potentially harmful website. Any website on which malware is detected will be blacklisted by Google, removed from the search engine and a warning will be displayed to users accessing it through Chrome, letting them know that their information could be at risk.

Sucuri is an internet security company that sends out many blacklist review requests every day after they have cleaned a client’s website. In one recent study, Sucuri found that Google’s deceptive content warning would only be removed once an SSL certificate was activated on a website. Most of the websites that had a warning appear were either new websites or had information inputs for customers, such as login or credit card prompts, without using an SSL certificate.

 

In conclusion

It used to be that having your website appear on Google would make or break its success. Now more than ever, it seems that having an SSL certificate plays a big part in it. This all began in 2014 when Google announced that having HTTPS would help your website rank higher in their search results.

Google’s stance on protecting visitors’ security went a step further in January of 2017. At the start of the year, Google started placing the “Not Secure” label whenever an http website would ask for passwords or credit card information.

It would appear that Google is trying to make webmasters more accountable for visitor information by making SSL certificates absolutely necessary to running a successful website. Without an SSL certificate, your website runs the risk of disappearing from Google’s search results and of appearing as an unsafe option for people who visit it through the Chrome web browser.

SSL certificates are a crucial part of your website, especially if you handle sensitive customer information such as passwords and credit cards. Not only does an SSL certificate encrypt your visitors’ information and keep it safe, but it now also helps your website rank higher in Google.

SSL certificates are easy to set up and add to your website. You can see what HostPapa has to offer here and you can learn how to install your SSL Certificate with this HostPapa knowledge base article. For more helpful tips and tricks on running a successful website, make sure you keep coming back to the HostPapa blog.

Ryan Juraschka

Ryan is a self-described geek. He's an avid gamer, a fan of science-fiction literature and an aspiring author and journalist. At HostPapa, he focuses on creating content to help small business owners make the most of their entrepreneurship experience.

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