Google changes its search engine algorithm frequently. Though it's not always obvious for Google to disclose what it intends to change, it uses the I/O conferences to update tech and web developers about any such plans. A 2014 annual conference saw it announce its plans to use HTTPS as a ranking feature for websites. The announcement spawned discussions about the use of SSL certificates as they are the foundation for cybersecurity. The certificates provide authentication, data integrity and confidentiality. Users often think that HTTPS and SSL are the same but SSL certificates protect connections and the transfer of data between the browser and the website server while HTTPS is a combination of HTTP and SSL certificates. The HTTPS is an encryption displayed in the web browser using a padlock symbol and green address bar. SSL presents several advantages and disadvantages to users:
SSL certificates protect your data as it first authenticates that the website is the right server for communication. Secondly, it encrypts all the communication thus protecting the user's credit card numbers in the case of large online trades and browser history. Home Depot, Ebay, Taget among other large online retailers have fallen prey to hacking and lost payment records and important customer information because their sites did not use the HTTPS extension. SSL certificates also protect data from third-party intrusion and other external threats.
Websites that use SSL boost their SEO ranking as it was confirmed a ranking feature in 2014. Google believed that SSL helped create a web culture where data security of the users is protected. In fact, the search engine planned to flag websites that do not use the HTTP as unsafe.
Websites that have the Extended Validation SSL certificates have legal ownership of the website. As such, they give visitors the assurance that the site they are visiting is owned by that particular organization.
SSL certificates create the HTTPS URL which allows your data to remain intact. Sites that use the unsecured HTTP instead of HTTPS leads to the loss of referral data. As a result, your site's analytics report displays dark traffic on the internet.
Since SSL certificates were created to enhance security, mobile users were not considered. However, the increased use of mobile devices has caused website owners to set up in-house applications or third-party applications to help their sites operate the same way as mobile devices.
The use of SSL is believed to reduce the loading speed of your website. Businesses that rely on mobile users are more likely to be affected by the reduced loading speed of their sites.
Adding SSL certificates to a website means that the user needs to use a new domain name for his site. As a result, all the old pages need to be redirected to the new HTTPS.
The use of SSL certificates also requires users to update the landing pages used on Google, social media and email marketing campaigns. Simply put, users need to update all the areas where the old URL without the SSL certificate have been used.
Users that have multi-domain SSL certificates may need to engage an expert to as there is a high chance of making errors.
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