Google’s announcement on 6th August has taken a few by surprise.  They have announced that they will be rewarding website owners by using SSL certificates on their website.  

In their official announcement, Google described the strength of using SSL as a ranking factor as “a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high quality content”.

Some basic tips, courtesy of Google, to get you started:

•    Decide the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate
•    Use 2048-bit key certificates
•    Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
•    Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
•    Check out our Site move article for more guidelines on how to change your website’s address
•    Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
•    Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible.   Avoid the noindex robots meta tag.

So, should having an SSL certificate make a difference to the ranking of a website?  Google seems to think so, but don’t let this announcement force you into purchasing an SSL certificate, it is only a very, very small percentage of their ranking factors overall.

Content is still the King!  This emphasises our continued advice to our clients – ensure you write quality content and keep updating your website.  Google still uses this as a huge ranking signal.

If you don't have time to update your content, why not take out one of our website management programmes.