For years webmasters and private businessmen have been coding websites using the rules set by Google. The coding rules that Google employed to website builders were to not only give websites a consistent look but to also give an edge to the website builders in their page search engine optimization rankings. This process has been ongoing for years as the web has grown and developed. Today, there is a new factor to contend with, hacking and security. To combat these efforts and still get a boost in your page rankings, Google is now offer websites to be equipped with SSL certificates. Websites that have these certificates are digitally secure. As an example, a nonsecured websites address would be http://www.bowling.com. A digitally secure website would look like this https://www.northeastern.edu/ Notice that the only difference in the site is a change to the http in the address. The secure site begins with https instead of http; the S in http stands for secure. The S also indicates that the site is equipped with an SSL certificate that secures all of your data as it passes from your browser to a website. When your site is secured it actually encrypts your data on the fly as it is transmitted.
To change your site over to a secure and encrypted site all you need to do is purchase an SSL certificate from Host Gator, Go Daddy, Symantec, Digicert, or one of the other dealers that offer SSL certificates . Once you have your certificate, install it on your website’s hosting account. Once installed, make sure all of your website links are changed to the new secure address so that the people who have already bookmarked your site are automatically redirected to your new https address.
If you are comfortable engaging in technical web projects, this should cause you no problem, however, if you do not feel comfortable, there is another way. Many hosting companies, including Go Daddy and Host Gator can do this all for you. This service not only includes installing the new secure web address but also doing the 301 redirect setups. It may cost a bit more, however, the amount of time this will save you, will more than makeup for the expense. As an example of what could happen if you don’t do this, how would it affect your business to have a hacker break into your site and install a ransomware virus on it? I’m just using this as an example because ransomware is so rampant today. If you aren’t familiar with ransomware Google it.
When you move your site to the security offered by SSL certificates, the change is reflected in your visitor’s browser. There are, in fact, three levels of SSL protection available. Regardless of which one you choose, all levels of protection cause a closed lock to appear on the browser’s address bar indicating that the connection is secure.
Another factor in picking the security level of your certificate is time and money. Each step up in security will, of course, cost you more money. In addition, each step up in security will also require more paperwork on your part and additional time to issue the higher certificate.
Google has also publicly announced that moving your website to a secure address using SSL certificates will also give a small ranking benefit now. They also added that this could change more in the future to encourage website owner to strengthen their sites from hackers.