How Does an SSL Certificate Affect Search Engine Rankings?

Most online marketers would be probably aware that there are more than 200 ranking factors that Google considers before ranking a site in their SERPs (Search Engine Results Page).

In this article, we will be discussing the impact of an SSL certificate on search engine rankings.

Google doesn’t give out information on what you can do to improve the ranking of your website on the search engine results page or how to boost SEO rankings. The search engine giant Google mainly comes up with generic and vague statements such as becoming relevant, creating high-quality content, and more.

However, Google did mention something particular on August 6, 2014. Google made it clear that they will be prioritizing websites with SSL certificates by giving them a better SEO rank.

This means that websites without SSL certificates will struggle to keep up with sites using SSL certificates in terms of SERP rankings.

In this article, we will be taking an in-depth look at how SSL certificates can affect search engine rankings.

What You Should Know About SSL Certificates

Secure Socket Layer or SSL certificates add an additional layer of security and safety to website connections. The details shared by website visitors on your website can be easily protected by using SSL certificates.

In other words, when an internet user visits an HTTPS website, then the SSL certificate will make sure that the information shared by the user will not end up in the wrong hands.

SSL certificates guarantee an encrypted connection that will ensure that the in-transit data and information are safe and secure. You can buy a cost-effective, cheap SSL certificate from any reliable SSL reseller.

How SSL Certificates Affect Search Engine Rankings

Now, most of you would have probably understood what SSL certificates are and how they work. It is time to take a quick look at how SSL certificates can positively affect the search engine rankings of your website.

Gives A Boost in The Search Engine Rankings

As we discussed earlier, Google has officially stated that websites using SSL certificates are more likely to get a higher ranking on the search engine results page compared to other websites.

So, if you are still running your website on HTTP, it is best to switch it to HTTPS by using an SSL certificate.

It is crucial to note that it is hard to calculate the precise impact of SSL certificates on the SEO rankings of a website.

For example, it would be difficult to judge the impact of an SSL certificate on the search engine rankings of a particular site when you compare it with another site that has thousands of powerful backlinks but is in a similar niche.

That said, website admins and owners who take care of all other important search engine ranking factors and implement the best SEO practices are at a higher chance of getting better SEO rankings. Such websites that also come with an SSL certificate will be able to stay on top of competitors.

Several websites reported that their SEO rankings considerably increased after switching to an HTTPS website. For instance, Cloudtec admitted that they could see better rankings after installing an SSL certificate on their website and moving it to HTTPS.

Brian Dean from Backlinko studied the impact of HTTPS on the SEO rankings of a website along with SEMRush, Ahref, MarkerMuse, and SimilarWeb. The team of experts found that HTTPS is correlated moderately with higher SEO rankings on the first page of Google.

Improving User Experience to Improve SEO

It is evident that SSL certificates will improve user experience, so it is best to buy cost-effective cheap SSL certificates that deliver premium encryption and install them on websites.

Internet users who are visiting unsafe websites will see visible indicators, which tells them that the website is not safe and secure. This will urge most internet users to exit the website, and they are less likely to return to such a website in the future.

Google Chrome plays an integral role in creating awareness about the security of the internet and website to average internet users. Most modern internet users are more aware of websites and internet security, and most of them prefer not to visit unencrypted websites.

Unencrypted websites that are not using SSL certificates will not be able to deliver a fine user experience. It is also important for website owners to understand that websites that fail to offer a fine and engaging user experience to site visitors will fail to get a higher rank on the search engine results page of Google.

Let us consider a scenario where an internet user ends up at your website and is ready to fill a form. However, if your website is not running on HTTPS, they will be greeted with a Google Chrome Indicator, which indicates that the site is not secure. This will, in turn, prompt the user to quit within a matter of seconds.

Google keeps a close eye on such behaviors. If several website visitors follow the same pattern, Google will gradually demote your site in the search engine results pages. The effect of running an encrypted and unsafe website will surely affect your rankings, and it may even affect the reputation of your brand.


Wrapping Up

So, most of you would have probably understood how SSL certificates can affect the SEO rank of websites. The only way to avoid such hassles and preserve the rank of your website is to invest in an SSL certificate.

Installing SSL certificates should be considered a duty because it will ensure a secure and safe browsing experience for website visitors. If website visitors do not trust your website, then they may prefer not to visit your website, which is bad for business.