Google begins to flag websites without SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates as non-secure and punishes sites without certificates by negatively impacting their Google ranking along with showing an unlocked padlock on Google results pages as a warning for online visitors about your site.

What are SSL certificates and why do they matter?

HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) and HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) are protocols, or languages, for the passing of information between web servers and clients. Although the technical side of this can get complicated, it is easiest to remember that HTTP is not a secure connection while HTTPS is a secure connection for information being passed. This is because the SSL certificate acts as a blanket of security that encrypts data being transferred on an HTTPS site, prevents eavesdropping from outside sources, protects the integrity of data to prevent corruption in transfer, and ensures communication only with the intended website. SSL certificates will change website URLS from HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) to HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) and protect your client or customer data being submitted through your website.

How to tell if a website is secure (HTTPS) or not (HTTP)

When a certificate is successfully installed on your server, the application protocol (also known as HTTP) will change to HTTPS. Depending on the type of certificate you purchase and what browser you are surfing the internet on, a browser will show a padlock or green bar in the browser when you visit a website that has an SSL Certificate installed.

Credibility and trust for your customers

A significant benefit of SSL certificates is the fact that they will help you gain visitors’ trust. Your website will be displayed with a security padlock in the address bar of the browser. This will indicate that the connection is secure and will show your website’s visitors that you take their privacy seriously. If your website doesn’t have a certificate, some browsers may label it as “unsafe.”