Since hacking attempts and security hacks are on the rise, everyone is concerned with security aspects of website. Security is also a top priority for leading search engines including Google. It is for the same reason, many organizations continue to invest in sophisticated security measures such as SSL certificates or HTTPS encryption.
It was declared by Google that it would initiate ‘HTTPS everywhere’ on the web and consider SSL encryption as one of the factors for search engine ranking.
Brief review of SSL certificate
Whenever you look at the sign of HTTPS in the URL you can be sure that you are in a secure environment. An SSL certificate offers security to web connection by way of encryption. SSL is an acronym for Secured Sockets Layer and it encrypts the data that is being exchanged between a user and server. By doing so, SSL encryption protects the information from hackers while it is being exchanged over the internet.
Transmission of any information over the Web usually takes place in a plain format and travels through multiple servers before it actually reaches the intended receiver. This exposes the information to the possibility of hacking or being stolen by cyber criminals.
It has become necessary to secure every website in the light of frequent cyber attacks and attempts of data theft. This brings us to HTTP protocol that means ‘hypertext transfer protocol’ and is a way to transfer data over internet. Since HTTP lacks security, SSL encryption is used to provide HTTPS protocol.
Few attributes of HTTPS
It must be noted that HTTPS is not only sought after for ensuring security of information that is being transferred between user and server. As mentioned earlier, Google has started assigning importance to SSL encrypted websites. Although the strength of ranking factor is negligible, it could result in difference between page one and two.
One of the most obvious benefits of HTTPS is that it offers your visitors a sense of security. HTTPS imparts better security to your site and is highly essential if you are asking your users to share their personal credentials including their email addresses to enable you to send newsletters, updates or blog posts.
HTTPS is able to empower your data with help of multiple layers of protection such as:
- Data encryption- the data would not be of any use to anyone due to strong encryption.
- Integrity of data- Nobody can intercept and corrupt your data.
- Data authentication- By preventing Man in the Middle attacks, your visitors cannot be made to pass on information unknowingly to hackers.
- Prevention of content injection- HTTPS sites cannot not be injected with content from other sites in the form of ads, needless to mention HTTPS also prevents malicious attempts of content injection.
Use of SSL for blog sites
SSLs are must for sites that process online payments or require users to enter usernames and passwords. However, if your blog site is not asking for any private information of from your visitors, then an SSL certificate is not a necessity.
In spite of this, many bloggers feel that by having a secured site the visitors will have a better perception of the blogs. Your blogs will be read more seriously due to your site’s security environment.
SSLs also provide security to even simple login scripts. Login credentials can be easily identified by hackers and these can be misused for compromising other accounts of users because many individuals use the same username and password combinations on other accounts by sheer force of habit.
Types of SSL certificates
SSL certificates are not very expensive and can be easily obtained. You can enhance the trust quotient of your website by using SSL encryption on your site. There are three types of SSL/TLS certificates to choose from including, Domain Validation (DV) certificate, Organization Validation certificate (OV), and Extended Validation (EV) certificate.
If you are searching for ensuring protection for your individual sites or blogs, then Domain Validation certificate is the perfect choice. It is generally preferred for small non-ecommerce sites since it only asks for validation of your domain ownership. Some web hosting providers are also offering DV certificates absolutely free to their clients.
If you happen to run a business website, then Organization Validation certificate is just for you. These are designed to empower your business site with a business authentication feature. The certificate authority will validate your business credentials before assigning an Organization Validation certificate.
Extended Validation or EV certificate is the premium SSL/TLS certificate and is recognized by presence of a green address bar that includes the name of your organization. These are provided with the most stringent trust seals and can facilitate more conversions.
Blog sites per se do not need SSL encryption unless the site seeks sensitive or personal information of clients. If your bog site is offering a paid access to the content, then an SSL certificate services should be procured.
As far as Google page ranking and presence of SSL is concerned, it should be noted that there are many poplar blog sites that do not have SSL encryption and are still able to command higher page ranks. The most vital requirement for your blog to rank higher in Google search is the quality of your content. Nothing else really matters.