There are many webmasters who still do not know that Google now favours sites that are using SSL. Whether SSL certificate is really required for good search rankings or not is now a heated topic of debate inside the fraternity of webmasters and online marketers. Is SSL really required for better search rankings? Or is it just another search marketing bubble that would disappear after some time? The short answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’.
If you are selling things through your website, you would probably need an SSL certificate. More importantly, if you are accepting payments through Credit Cards, SSL is paramount for your online business’s sustainability. However, this does not imply that you will have to get SSL across all the pages of your website. You might just use SSL on your checkout page. On the other hand, if you are using PayPal (or any other third-party payment gateway) YOU REALLY DON’T NEED SSL. This is because customers are paying you directly to your PayPal merchant account.
Are you offering memberships? If yes, SSL is required. This is because a membership-based website collects confidential information of its clients, such as email addresses, names or phone numbers. If you are keen on securing the online privacy of your registered users, an SSL certificate is a must. SSL certification can keep the chances of data stealing and breach of privacy at bay. Similarly, if your users submit important information using forms (e.g. personal information, photos or videos), you definitely need SSL to secure the user-generated information or data.
On the flip side, if you are just running a blog, and you have nothing to sell, no products or services, no subscriptions, no memberships, getting SSL will be a big waster of your time.
Things to consider before using SSL across all the web pages
- SSL certification increases the trustworthiness quotient of your website. So next time when a visitor or buyer tries to purchase anything from your site, he will know that his information and money will pass through a secure gateway.
- If you have a notion that Google loves SSL and you should implement it to please the Big G, you are thinking it wrong. First consider what types of site you are running and then take a decision.
- If you have plans to launch affiliate website somewhere the down the line, it’s better if you wait for a few days before you buy subdomains etc. After that, you can opt for site-wide SSL.
There are few other things you need to take into account.
If you opt for https:// or SSL and all your permalinks are changed, you will lose your social footprints. Your Google+ comments, shares, likes, everything will be gone in a flash. Have you thought about that?
You might face plug-in problems after the transition. You might need to change all your plug-ins.
After SSL is added, you have to re-add your website to Google webmaster tools. Meanwhile, your search ranking may drop drastically.
If you need SSL but don’t have the fund to get one, you can get free SSL certificates out there that doesn’t comprised the security of your website. They are listed below:
SSL or not – A final note
One of the significant advantages of getting SSL is your users will trust you and bounce rate will be significantly decreased. Besides, your search rankings will also improve over time. But if you have to take in consideration all possible pros and cons of getting SSL before the transition.