Does SSL Improve SEO? Exploring the Impact of SSL on Your Website’s Search Engine Rankings

Featured image for our post Does SSL Improve SEO? Exploring the Impact of SSL on Your Website's Search Engine Rankings. Showing SSL being demonstrated as a piece of the puzzle when it comes to technical SEO

This post was written by Jordan Farrar

Jordan is an accomplished Digital Marketer leading the team at akoca. Continuously enhancing his knowledge through industry updates and best practices, Jordan delivers top-tier solutions for clients. Within akoca, he oversees and guides various projects with his extensive knowledge and expertise. In addition, he's host for Abingdon’s Buzz local networking group, establishing solid connections with fellow businesses.
31 May, 2023
Featured image for our post Does SSL Improve SEO? Exploring the Impact of SSL on Your Website's Search Engine Rankings. Showing SSL being demonstrated as a piece of the puzzle when it comes to technical SEO

Seeking ways to boost your online presence and secure a coveted spot in local search rankings?

You may have stumbled upon the buzzword ‘Local SEO’ and heard whispers of ‘SSL certificates’ playing a crucial role in this space.

The conversation around whether or not having an SSL certificate improves SEO has been one which has been covered over the years.

The short answer is yes, having an SSL certificate has been shown to improve Page Rankings.

There, you have your answer, short and to the point – feel free to go about your day. If however, you’d like more context around this question, then read on…

In this post, we will dip a toe into the world of Local SEO,  So, if you’re asking yourself, “Does having an ssl certificate improve seo” stay tuned.

What is SSL and How Does it Work?

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, a standard technology used for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This encrypted link ensures that all data transmitted between the web server and browser remains private and integral, thus safeguarding it from potential threats and cyber-attacks.

This is denoted across websites with a secure padlock next to the URL.


arrow pointing to a secure padlock next to the URL.

The Benefits of SSL for Website Owners and Users

SSL is not just technical jargon. For both website owners and users, it carries an array of benefits.

Firstly, it protects sensitive data. For business owners, this is crucial as it ensures customer data, like credit card information, remains safe.

For users, it gives them peace of mind knowing their information is secure.

Additionally, it instills trust. Users feel more confident browsing and making transactions on sites that have the secure padlock symbol. This trust can convert to increased traffic and improved customer conversion rates for the site owners.

The Relationship Between SSL and SEO

The bridge between SSL and SEO might not be immediately apparent, but it becomes clearer once we understand Google’s goals.

Google’s main aim is to provide its users with the most relevant and highest-quality results for their search queries. However, it’s not just about content relevance and quality. The safety and security of the sites Google recommends are also of paramount importance.

Picture it like this;

Imagine Google is a conscientious librarian of an enormous digital library, where each website is represented as a book.

Google’s task, much like that of a librarian, is to guide the readers (searchers) to the most pertinent and high-quality books (websites) that align with their inquiries (search queries).

Yet, Google’s duty extends beyond just the relevance and quality of the content; it also must ensure the safety and reliability of the books it recommends.

In this analogy, an SSL certificate acts like a quality seal or a safety lock on a book. This seal suggests that the book is in superb condition, devoid of any harmful or malicious elements (cyber threats) that might pose a risk to the reader.

Much like a responsible librarian, Google has a preference for suggesting books adorned with these safety seals (websites with SSL certificates).

It places these books ahead of others that lack such safety assurances (websites without SSL certificates), all in the name of protecting its readers.

The greater the number of books that bear this safety seal (SSL), the more likely they are to be recommended by the librarian (ranked higher by Google), making the library a safer environment for all its patrons.

Does SSL Really Improve Your Website’s Search Engine Rankings?

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, the straight answer is yes. SSL does enhance your website’s Search Engine Rankings.

Back in 2014, Google announced that HTTPS (which you get by installing an SSL certificate) is a ranking signal. This means, all things being equal, a website with an SSL certificate will rank higher than one without.

While SSL is just one out of hundreds of factors in Google’s algorithm, in the fiercely competitive world of SEO, every advantage counts. Plus, as users become more security-savvy, having an SSL could improve your site’s click-through rate, leading to an indirect boost in rankings.

Best Practices for Implementing SSL on Your Website

If you haven’t yet adopted SSL on your website? Here are a few best practices.

Firstly, purchase an SSL certificate from a reputable Certificate Authority. The cost of ssl certificates vary. There are free options available, but paid ones often come with better customer support and liability protections.

Secondly, after installing your certificate, ensure your site is configured to always use HTTPS, even for subdomains.

Next, update your website links to use HTTPS, and set up redirects so that visitors trying to access the HTTP version of your site are automatically directed to the HTTPS version.

Finally, don’t forget to update your site settings in Google Search Console and Google Analytics to track the HTTPS version of your site.

Final thoughts: Does SSL Improve SEO?

Embracing SSL may seem like a technical hassle, but the benefits in terms of improved user trust and potential SEO gains make it an investment worth considering.

SSL certificates not only secure a website by encrypting the communication between the server and the user’s browser, but they also contribute significantly to the website’s SEO.

Google, akin to a diligent librarian, values the safety and security of its users, hence rewarding SSL-certified websites with better rankings.

The adoption of SSL is not merely a technical aspect of your website; it’s a signal to both Google and your users that you prioritise their safety and data integrity.

We hope this article shed light on the importance of SSL and its impact on your SEO. Now, it’s over to you!

Do you have any thoughts, experiences, or questions about SSL and SEO? Share them in the comments below – we’d love to continue the conversation.

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