SSL HTTPS and SEO

Why is SSL Important?

What is SSL? SSL is the acronym for Secure Sockets Layer. At the virtual level, it is the security technology which provides an encrypted link between points on the internet, such as server to server, browser to server, or browser to client. The encrypted link protects data transmitted between these points. In order for this to happen, the server requires an SSL certificate.

You likely recognize the lock icon in your browser which indicates you are protected by SSL when visiting a website. SSL ensures that your sensitive data including credit card numbers and banking information is not being intercepted or compromised. You should never enter any private or sensitive information on a site which isn’t protected by SSL.

SSL icon online

What is the difference between SSL and HTTPS

If you have a little confusion about the difference between SSL and HTTPS, let’s clear this up for you. HTTPS is the acronym for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. This acronym appears in your browser when a site is protected by SSL. HTTP is the standard which will display when SSL is not employed. Not all website owners think they need to utilize HTTPS because other than IP address or random browsing activity, the user and the site don’t exchange sensitive data.

Now newer versions of Chrome, Google’s browser, will alert when you are surfing on an HTTP site versus an HTTPS so that you, the user, can make a decision if you wish to proceed on a website. Chrome will display the warning “Not Secure” in the browser as an alert when the site does not have or maintain an SSL certificate.

What is the importance of SEO and SSL

Google gives a ranking boost to websites which deploy SSL. SSL also impacts SEO because today’s savvy web surfers will possibly leave unsecure websites displaying “Not Secure” alerts thus affecting “bounce rate.” Bounce rate is the search engine term for time which users spend on websites. Low bounce rate means high time spent on a site, high bounce rate means low time spent on a site. Google favors websites with low bounce rate.

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