At Illustrate we do what we can to give all of our customers the best chance on search engines and to keep them informed of changes that may effect their rankings.

In an attempt to help secure the internet Google have announced that they are now taking into account whether your site is secured with SSL when ranking you on Google.

What does that mean for you and your website?

This means that if your website is secured with an SSL certificate this is more favourable to your search results than a site that doesn’t do this.

So what is an SSL certificate or secure website?

Have you noticed that when you visit a website some start with “http://” and some (such as your online banking) start with “https://”. The difference is that the “s” indicates a site that sends information to your computer in a way that prevents 3rd parties intercepting it.

Doing this requires an SSL certificate that can be difficult to setup yourself if you don’t know what you are doing, though most web hosts will do this on your behalf as a paid service.

Ideally the whole internet should be secure from the beginning. This isn’t going to stop all the problems but its like having an alarm or security cameras on your house – you might still get broken into but are much less likely to.

Should I get an SSL certificate?

The effect on your results is likely to be very small at the moment and SSL is optional, though we recommend it if you are taking payments or selling through your website. The last thing you want to do it collect payments without doing everything you can to protect your customer!

What does this mean in the future?

Google are committed to general security of the internet and at the moment they are far more interested in whether your website has quality content. Currently we recommend you always focus on good content, blog posts and customer experience. In future Google may change this but we will have to wait and see their next move.

As always, if you are concerned or would just like to speak to someone human about what you would like to do then please feel free to contact Illustrate using the details to the right and we would be happy to assist you further.