Is having an SSL certificate on your website important?
I came across a website that does not have an SSL certificate. Now, I personally would not shop on a site without one, but I'm wondering does this have a direct impact on your SEO results?
Does the pure fact that you don't have an SSL certificate mean you'll have a harder time ranking your pages?
Yeah, it is very important for first-time visitors to trust that your website is secure and safe to share their personal information.
An SSL certificate is something that every business should have on their website, especially after Google prioritized websites with SSL certificates for better search engine rankings. SSL, which stands for Secure Socket Layer, is an encryption technology used to create a secure connection between a web server and a user’s web browser.
When a website has an SSL certificate properly installed on the server, a small green padlock icon SSL padlock will be displayed to the left of a website URL in the browser and https will appear in green as well. SSL certificates are used to secure data transfers, credit card transactions, logins, and other personal information. They provide security to customers and make visitors more likely to stay on a website for longer periods of time.
One of the biggest changes that Google made with this new initiative is if a website has an SSL certificate and exhibits a commitment to online security, it will rank higher in Google Search results. Comparably, websites with poor website security will be pushed further down in Google rankings. The importance of this cannot be overstated.
Here are several important reasons to have an SSL certificate:
• Increasing site security
• Safety for all your subdomains
• Credibility and trust for your customers
• SEO advantages
Having SSL is important and Google did include it in their ranking factors 3 years ago. Google has a lot of factors for its ranking sites in SERPs. If more people click on your web page than a competitor on a SERP Google soon notices it and begins to rank your page higher and higher than the competitor. Thus if we are to assume that only a small fraction of the general population, say 10%, feel more secure or comfortable with SSL pages vs non-SSL pages, that would translate into your SSL-enabled page potentially getting 10% more clicks than the non-SSL enabled page. But since higher click-throughs are rewarded with higher positioning, you can see that with the time that 10% increase may become a 200 to 300% increase against non-SSL pages. Thus I would recommend SSL all the way.
As more and more people get more sensitive to website security and so on, the research will most likely begin to reveal clear advantages.
For you to run a non-scientific test, search for anything you like on Google and educate yourself on how many non-ssl pages appear on the first pages. That will give you an idea of how the Search Engines see SSL (which is a reflection of what they think their customers want).
Good luck with your business.
In short, YES!
From the point of view of the web browsers, it more or less affects your website rankings (especially Google Chrome browser).
From the point of view users, the ones who understand what SSL certificate is, and have knowledge about website securities (as SSL stands for website security) will avoid buying anything from the website.
You can read the detailed information here: https://searchengineland.com/effective-july-2018-googles-chrome-browser-will-mark-non-https-sites-as-not-secure-291623
It does provide a sense of security when someone is entering your website, especially if you were to buy goods and services online, the perception is that if you see that Lock beside the URL there is a greater sense of ease.
Also, Google has noted that it is a ranking factor albeit a small one
According to this research, HTTPS has a minor effect on but it does have an effect: https://neilpatel.com/blog/does-a-ssl-certificate-affect-your-seo-a-data-driven-answer/