What is SSL in SEO?

Guide to SSL in SEO (Digital Marketing):

  • SSL stands for “Secure Socket Layer”.
  • SSL means when you visit a website, an encrypted link is created between the web server and your browser.
  • In the past, you only needed SSL if your business accepted credit cards or other sensitive details. But today, Google Chrome now alerts visitors that your site is “Not Secure”.
  • Having an SSL is a factor in Google‘s search ranking algorithm.
  • The simple way to check if your website is protected or not is by just checking if the website URL starts with HTTP or HTTPS. The ‘s’ means the website is secure.
  • Its simple to add SSL to the website: One can purchase various types of certificates through the domain provider or a company like- Let’s Encrypt.

Guide to SSL in SEO (Digital Marketing):

Reasons to convert your website to SSL

Following are the reasons why one should convert their website to SSL:

1. Google favors SSL

Firstly, HTTPS has been confirmed since 2014, so getting small rankings to boost is good reason #1 for switching to HTTPS.

 

2. User favors Secure Websites

Secondly, if your website is not using HTTPS/SSL, your search engine rankings and website credibility may get affected.

 

3. SSL is a Google Ranking Signal

Google introduced SSL as a weak ranking signal in 2014. At that time, Google hinted that over time, they might decide to strengthen it as a signal because they wanted to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS.

Daily, more and more business owners get hip to the fact that competing online requires digital marketing and a more advanced strategy for SEO. Paying attention to this SSL detail could be the factor that allows your site to rank higher than a competitor.

 

4. It’s safer for your Visitors

SSL is especially important over unencrypted Wi-Fi networks. Anyone on the same local network, such as a general shop or other public networks can discover sensitive information about your visitors.

Several organizations and companies have been pushing for more encrypted sites as part of a campaign to “Encrypt All the Things”, which comprises of promoting more websites to dump the less secure and traditional HTTP protocol and apply HTTPS.

HTTPS protects user data, but it also ensures that the user is connecting to an authentic site and not a fake one. This is important because setting up a fake version of a website is a popular spoofing technic.

 

5. Research Shows that Google HTTPS Ranking is Real, SSL does Correlate with Higher Rankings

Research from analyzing 1 million search results found that “HTTPS correlated with higher rankings on Google’s first page”.

Guide to SSL in SEO (Digital Marketing):

Types of SSL

Before heading towards types of SSL, one should first know about TSL.

TSL:

SSL works with TLS, which stands for Transport Layer Security. This is a web security protocol that facilitates data privacy and security. This results in secure communications between machines on the Internet.

There are 3 components of TSL, Below is provided the information about them:

  • Encryption: TLS helps to hide the transfer of private data from any third-party prying eyes. This makes viewing any website more secure.
  • Authentication: The authentication component of TLS ensures that the two parties who transfer this information are who they say they really are. In other words, data being sent over the protocol will be both encrypted and authenticated.
  • Integrity: This component of TLS helps ensure that the data has not been faked or otherwise tampered with.

 

There are 6 types of SSL:

1. Extended Validation Certificates 

2. Organization Validated Certificates 

3. Domain Validated Certificates 

4. Wildcard SSL Certificate

5. Multi-Domain SSL Certificate 

6. Unified Communications Certificate 

 

1. Extended Validation Certificates

Extended Validation SSL is one of those that shows the padlock, which, being one of the most well-known security-related symbols, ends up conveying more credibility to the user.

In addition to the padlock, the certificate also shows in the address bar elements such as the name of the company and the country where it is located.

It is a complete certificate and one of the most commonly used in the market, which also makes it one of the most expensive options.

 

 

2. Organization Validated Certificates

Organization validated certificates require an applicant to be verified before they can acquire one. The certificate authority will contact you and verify that you own or control the domain name associated with the certificate by asking questions about how it’s registered and configured.

Organizations are typically better protected because you have to prove ownership or control over a DNS record, such as the website’s A record or SRV record (if using single-name or SAN SSL), and have it reflect the certificate’s details.

You can also add other records like MX or TXT to offer transparency and provide greater assurances that the domain’s owner is legitimate.

After going through this verification process, the certificate authority will issue an OV certificate, which is typically valid for one year and can be renewed at any time after that by following the same procedure.

It used to be that DV, OV, and EV SSL certificates were valid for two years, but this was changed to 1-year certificates from September 1, 2020.

The main protection that OV certificates offer that DV certificates don’t is the inability of fraudsters to obtain one. They cannot easily obtain OV certificates because their organization is not easily validated.

 

 

3. Domain Validated Certificates

The Domain Validation (DV) is another certificate that displays the green padlock as a security guarantee for users.

This type of certificate represents the fastest way for a company to get validation on the Internet, offering a very simple process.

To get the validation, you only need to fill out an application that requests the submission of some documents. For that, you need to add a DNS to the CA, which will verify if the applying company has the authorization to claim the domain in question.

The negative point of the DVs is that they do not act on the subdomains, being restricted to the top-level domain itself.

Moreover, this type of certificate does not work with any type of identity data, so it is not possible to know who is receiving the encrypted information.

However, if you can’t invest in a more complete (and expensive) solution, DV SSL gets the job done.

 

 

4. Wildcard SSL Certificate

These are issued with unlimited subdomains and typically cover a single domain name (@) or multiple top-level domains (www*.example.info).

If you want to protect multiple websites using different TLDs (.com, .info), you have to request one for each level of your site’s hierarchy in order to do so.

For example, let’s say you wanted control over a site with the following domains: Wildcard SSL certificates extend DV-issued SSLs by offering domain validation for multiple subdomains. This is great when you want to protect email and other sensitive accounts at your organization, but it typically costs more because of the added verification steps involved.

Certificate authorities will contact you about all of the domain names specified in your request and verify that you control each one before issuing a certificate. Before doing so, they’ll check their WHOIS database and make sure no other parties have registered those records.

 

 

5. Multi-Domain SSL Certificate

Also commonly referred to as SAN certificates, multi-domain SSL allows a single certificate to secure multiple domains, including subdomains of a single main domain name or entirely different domain names. One of these can secure up to 250 unique domains with a single solution. They provide a convenient option for organizations that own a lot of domains and are looking for a simplified way to secure them through a single solution rather than purchasing an individual certificate for each. Multi-domain SSL certificates are available in DV, OV, and EV validation options.

 

 

6. Unified Communications Certificate

Unified Communication Certificates (UCCs) are also known as Multi-domain certificates.

The reason for such a name is simple: this type of certificate allows you to include up to 100 domains at the same time, facilitating communication between browsers and servers.

Like other formats, the UCC uses a padlock in the address bar to signal that the domain is secure. In addition, it can be configured to act as EV SSLs, i.e. display the green padlock instead of the regular one.