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Scott Jackson
June 23, 2017

SEO Basics: What is SSL and how does it affect SEO?

What is SSL / HTTPS?

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) or HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) is the standard security technology to establish an encrypted link between a user’s browser and a server. The link ensures that all data going between the server and browser is secure and private.

SSL is used by millions of websites and aims to protect online transactions by allowing private information such as credit card numbers or login credentials to be transmitted securely.

How does SSL affect SEO?

Google announced back in August 2014 that secure websites would receive a small ranking boost. It is therefore widely understood that SSL is good for SEO and could give your site an advantage over non-secure sites (providing other SEO metrics are of the same standard).

The bad news is that moving your site to HTTPS can be a tricky process. According to Ahrefs, only around 1 in 10 websites has a perfect HTTPS setup. The other caveat is that as Google has more than 200 different ranking signals, switching your site to HTTPS isn’t guaranteed to have the impact you expect, and might only shift the needle slightly (if at all).

So before you get started, read up on correct HTTPS implementation (though this article is from 2014, its contents are still relevant) and make sure you understand the potential costs and benefits.


What is SSL? from on Vimeo.

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