What Is SSL And Why Does My Website Rank And Security Now Depend On It?

“Everything Changes” ~ Heraclitus

Technology change is decidedly a constant in our lives. Evolution of best practices to maintain a secure and well ranking website are also a way of life.

A very important and relatively new best practice has evolved to a requirement over the past year.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is nothing new.

However, the need to implement it on every website aspiring to be seen as a legitimate player on the WWW and secure from increasing threat from hackers IS a relatively  new thing.

Google made it clear a few years ago that the search ranking potential of every site would affected by whether or not SSL has been implemented. That enhancement has now become accepted as a ‘must-have’ to ensure security as well as best potential for search rank. The lack of SSL is not only negatively affecting rank, sites are being penalized for not having SSL.

Please read on through this Part 1 post to understand why you need SSL for your site now. Part II will follow shorty, clarifying why SSL certificates are not created equally.  A little extra education and points  of caution before you buy or settle for your free or suspiciously cheap SSL. At the end of the day, “You get what you pay for” definitely holds true here.

It is important be aware of and follow best practices as much as possible in the pursuit of securely maintaining and growing the internet hub for your business. As the #1 search engine, most changes in this arena are unquestionably lead by Google.  Many site security maintenance best practices depend on the components of a particular site build. For example; updating plugins regularly and having a secure, reliable backup are two universally critical practices for any WordPress site owner.

Few changes in past years have been as universal as this recent one driven by Google.

What is SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)

“a standard security protocol for establishing encrypted links between a web server and a browser in an online communication.” It authenticates identity and encrypts communication between any two systems.

SSL is standard for any site sharing sensitive information or doing Ecommerce but until this year would have been considered overkill for your average business blog, brochure or information only site.  Now thanks to Google making it a higher priority than in the past, it is a unofficially a requirement to avoid users being blocked from seeing your site or receiving a “this site is not secure” type of warning when they arrive.

SSL is a good thing

Increased security on the web is good!. The difference is that this has fast become the new price of admission if you intend to participate legitimately on the web.

You may be familiar with seeing https:// as  a prefix for many sites you visit. It is an indication of SSL in action.  You may have also noticed it showing up more and more on just about every site.

Google has driven this change to require SSL, which effectively ups the ante for the basic investment required to exist professionally on the internet. Without SSL sites are gradually beginning to resolve to this common warning when new users arrive.

Continuing reading on Susan's website... Not all SSL are created equal.

About the Author:

I work with small businesses and solo-preneurs to develop strategies, do competitive and SEO research, create websites, blogs, collateral and emarketing to help them visually and functionally support their brand, resonate with their customers and set them apart from their competition. I enjoy the privilege of getting to know other small business owners and solo entrepreneurs and learning about their unique business challenges. What I do isn’t for everyone, it works best for those with clear expectations and who are open to learn and have a specific budget. People tell me I am especially good at guiding them and helping them understand. There is a huge personal benefit to my business – building new relationships and enjoying the satisfaction of watching the strategies and tools we build together have a direct affect on their business growth and seeing the control gained over these tools build confidence in building their businesses.