Impact Group Marketing Blog

SSL? SEO? And if that’s not enough, there’s TLS, HTTP, and HTTPS. Three- (and four) letter acronyms have become commonplace everywhere, and every subject seems to have its own lingo.  Even if you use these regularly, it’s helpful to make sure everyone is operating with the same definitions to avoid misunderstanding.

Here are some basic definitions:

SSL: Secure Sockets Layer is standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. The link ensures that all data which passes between the web server and the browsers remain private and integral. To be able to create an SSL connection a web server requires an SSL certificate.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization, is “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.” (Organic results are essentially any searches which produce results without having to pay for anything.)

TLS: Transport Layer Security is the updated security technology protocol that has replaced SSL.

HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol is the general application protocol for “distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems,” developed to facilitate hypertext and the World Wide Web.

HTTPS: Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is an extension of HTTP used for secure communication over a computer network. The protocol is also referred to as HTTP over TLS or HTTP over SSL.

How does a SSL certificate work?

When an SSL certificate is installed on a web server, it operates as a “padlock” and acts as a secure connection between the web server and a browser. These sites – or in some case, redirected sites – have the https designation in the URL as well as a green padlock in the search box. What does that mean for websites and making sure your business has a high degree of SEO?

How does HTTPS impact SEO?

  • 84% of users say they would not complete a purchase if data was being sent over an insecure connection.
  • Google continues to “push” website owners and developers to change from HTTP to HTTPS. The version 68 of the Chrome browser goes so far as to label HTTP sites as “not secure.”
  • HTTPS websites load faster than HTTP sites, resulting in higher search rankings.
  • Google has also indicated that if all other factors are equal, HTTPS can serve as a “tiebreaker” in ranking of search results. Google announced the use of HTTPS as a “ranking signal” in 2014.
  • The digital certificates needed to enable HTTPS on a website are now much easier to obtain and cost little or nothing.

So what's the bottom line? Better rankings usually lead to more traffic because more people will see your site. And, when they go to the site, they will likely see the secure site as an indication of trust and authority, causing them to choose your site over another, increasing click-through rate.

Apparently, it does make a difference! According to one source in late 2018, more than half of the one million most visited websites worldwide now actively redirect to HTTPS, the secure version of the HTTP protocol over which data is transmitted between a website and a device. This number has seen a dramatic upturn in a very short time. The same researcher reported only 38% of the top million sites using encrypted connections in early 2018 and in August 2015 that number was less than 7%!

How Evolve Impact Group can help: It makes sense that if you’re starting a new website, it’s best to incorporate SSL in the design from the beginning. We can help with that! Our websites are built using the latest HTML5 and bootstrap technology as well as using responsive design to give you the best SEO from Day 1. Contact us today and we’ll help you get started.