Do you know that almost 70% of internet users believe that current laws for protecting their rights are not good enough? And... currently (Dec 2017) just 5% of the top 1 million websites redirect users to a default HTTPS/SSL version!

No wonder Google has taken a strict stance to ensure that it protects the privacy of their consumers. Security, they say, has always been 'a top priority' for them. So, in order to implement an advanced secure connection for users, recently the search engine giant announced HTTPS as a ranking signal!

And, ever since Google made this announcement... Marketers around the world have gone into a frenzy...

Benefits of HTTPS / SSL

The main benefit of Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is that it provides a secure connection to users on the pages where they share personal data with you. It's great to have on your entire website. But, when a user shares precious info, like credit card details, HTTPS adds extra layers of protection.

You'll need to install a Secure Socket Layer certificate (the protocol that HTTPS uses) to ensure that data between your web server and browser remains private and secure. When an SSL certificate is installed on a web server, it operates as a padlock and acts as a secure connection between the web server and browser. An SSL certificate binds together your domain name, server/host, company name and location. While how an SSL certificate works goes into more details, what you need to know here is this: Even if a hacker manages to intercept your data, he won’t have the private key to decrypt it.

So put simply: HTTPS and SSL prevent man-in-the-middle attacks.

If you've installed an SSL certificate IE, Chrome and Firefox etc. will show the green light in the browser path/URL. (See one of our clients websites above: - Visitors might even get warnings on certain pages of your website that may prompt them to drop off your website is there is not an SSL present on some pages. (In partcicular pages with form fields).

So will having an SSL certificiate improve rankings in the SERPS (search engines)?

The short answer "yes if you use Google", but currently "no if you use Bing".

Bing publicly announced they had no plans to give ranking boosts for HTTPS. Whilst Google explained: "we're starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. 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. 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."

Read the full article here.