If you’re asking yourself, “Does my site need SSL?” – we’ve got the explanation for why you do.

On August 6th, 2014, Google announced that its search algorithm had changed, and there would be a slight ranking boost to websites that were using SSL. SSL (Secured Sockets Layer) allows sensitive information (such as credit card transactions, social security numbers and login credentials) to be transmitted securely between a client and a server. Google hopes that the change will motivate more websites to use SSL encryption – even if you don’t have a need to transmit secure data on your website.

According to Google, “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.”

Does My Site Need SSL?

Does your site need SSL? Our answer to that question is yes. The ball is already rolling on Google’s “HTTPS Everywhere” plan, with a recent update on their webmaster tools – including an improvement made to HTTPS reporting. Google has also suggested using the below tips to help administrators make the switch to SSL:

  • Decide the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate
  • Use 2048-bit key certificates
  • Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
  • Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
  • Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
  • Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag

Finally, for those of you who are ahead of the game and already run your site on SSL, Google advises you to “test its security level and configuration with the Qualys Lab tool.”

Need help setting up SSL for your personal or business website? Let Excite Creative Studios help! We can handle the entire SSL setup and installation process for you. Contact us today for more information!