Have heard of SSL? What does it stand for? Sincere Sensual Love? Silent Sneaky Lothario? Sassy Silly Lullaby?
Close! Actually – it’s to do with the internet, websites, and security – and stands for Secure Sockets Layer.
To define SSL: It means that data that’s sent to and from your website is secure. You can tell if someone has it setup if the little padlock icon shows up next to the web address in your site.
Larger companies would certainly have – and anyone who has an e-commerce element to their website. Well, now it’s becoming more important and relevant for small businesses.
And as mentioned in this blog – quoted: “Google has been pushing for universal encryption or HTTPS everywhere since at least 2010 when it moved Gmail to HTTPS. In the last year it’s really ramped up the pressure on individual websites to adopt SSL and encrypt. Starting in 2018, Google will place an indicator that says “Not Secure” in the address bar every time someone visits a site that’s still served over HTTP.“
SSL developments that may affect you
Google Chrome and Firefox are going to start marking sites without SSL as insecure if there is a contact form on the site or there is any kind of login form. See this link for a bit of background. Google have also hinted that SSL sites will rank higher in the search index: See more here
Update: Google announced plans to mark all HTTP sites as “Not Secure” in Chrome, starting with July 2018. Read more here.
Medical pedicure specialists Feet 4 Life has not yet upgraded to using SSL on their website and has gradually seen their most competitive SEO keyword rankings drop from page 1 to page 2 of google because of this unfortunately. You can see all the sites above them in the Google search results are https which is SSL secure, as opposed to http, highlighting how important it is to put this in place on your website if not done so already ASAP.
I asked our hosting partner Alan Ogden to explain a bit more. He said:
Using SSL on your site will make the connection between your visitors and your site secure, and protect against hacking.
Think of a street with 2 houses on either side. One is your visitor, and one is your site. The street itself is the internet.
Without SSL your visitor is shouting across the street to your site in plain English. Anyone in the street can hear it and understand it. They are also able to listen to everything your visitor and your site is saying to each other.
With SSL, it’s like your visitor and your site have made up a completely new language that nobody can understand. People can still hear the shouting, but they cannot understand what you are saying meaning the conversation is totally private even when you’re shouting across the street.
SSL is a small, subtle sign of trust which, I think, is very important to an average internet user. They are constantly bombarded with the treats of fishing and the possibility of identity theft, that they are looking for anything that can give them a bit of security.