Earlier this month, Google revealed that they were now including whether your website used HTTPS encryption as a ranking signal.
This had already been hinted at by Google at their “Google I/O” annual conference back in June where they had stated that one of their ambitions was to make sure that all internet communications should be secured by default, so the news that HTTPS had made it onto their list of ranking factors did not come as a surprise.
Installing an SSL Certificate
SSL certificates are usually pretty easy to install these days. The normal process is to use whatever control panel that you have installed on your web server (common ones are cPanel, Plesk, etc) to generate a CSR (Certificate Signing Request) for your domain. Once you have your CSR, you can then purchase the SSL from an issuer like Geotrust or Verisign, and verify that you control the domain (usually through validation through email), you will then be issued with the certificate which you can finally install and voila, you will have HTTPS on your website.
An even easier way to have HTTPS on your site is to use a service like Cloudflare. They announced on the same day of Google’s HTTPS announcement that they were rolling out HTTPS for all of their users in October. They already offer HTTPS, but currently that is just for the benefit of their paid plan users.
The Golden Ticket?
As with all ranking factors, we should be aware that this is not the golden ticket to making your rankings go through the roof – it is just another piece in the puzzle. If your site already has great content that people want to read and share, relevant and trusted inbound links, fast loading speed and a fantastic UI and UX, then adding an SSL and giving your site HTTPS encryption is going to help you as well. If your site does not have all these other things, then just whacking on an SSL certificate is not going to do much.