After the Snowden revelations, the amount of websites that have become encrypted has doubled. There is still a long way to go before the entire web is encrypted, but the number of websites that use encryption might increase further as a result of Google favoring websites that are encrypted. Currently, whether the content is secured is a lightweight signal when compared to other signals, such as whether the website has high-quality content. It only affects 1% of search queries. However, this is likely to become a more important signal in the future.
Websites that use the HTTPS prefix are much more likely to receive a higher ranking from Google. This is because the HTTPS prefix is more secure than the HTTP prefix. Google has told webmasters for years that it is safe to switch from HTTP to HTTPS and to add an SSL certificate to your website. It is very rare that Google will specifically state that an aspect of a website is a signal, but Google has been explicit about this signal because they have been trying to improve the security of the Internet for years.
When adding a certificate to your website, you will need to determine whether you need a single, multi-domain or wildcard certificate. The single certificate is ideal for small business owners and bloggers. Multi-domain SSL is ideal for businesses that must own multiple domains. A wildcard SSL is ideal for if you will have a very large domain and are concerned with securing subdomains.
An SSL certificate is needed because SSL is used to secure data transfers for actions such as credit card transactions. Your website will not encrypt the website itself, but will instead encrypt the data that is sent by your website. An SSL certificate is the most reliable way to show your customers that their data will be secure. Visual trust indicators make it easy for visitors to know that the website is safe.
You will want to use 2048-bit key certificates. Use relative URLs for the resources that are found on the same domain. Then, a protocol relative URL should be used for everything else. Also, do not forget to make sure that your HTTPS website is not blocking bots from crawling your website.
Since you will be moving your website from an HTTP to HTTPS prefix, you will need to properly remove your website to avoid being penalized for duplicate content. You will want to prepare the new site and test it properly. Then, you will want to prepare URL mapping from the current URLs to their new format. Next, configure the server to redirect from the old URL to the new HTTPS one.
Making your content more secure by moderating spam can secure your content and improve your search engine results. This can be automated to a large extent through various plugins. Another approach is to disable links entirely. Also, consider disabling anonymous posting and requiring that visitors enter CAPTCHAs before they post to prevent spambots from posting.
Also, make sure to have your website regularly scanned for malware. When Google discovers that your website has become infected, it will include the message “this website may be hacked” in your search engine results and will also penalize your website until this is corrected.
To make sure that your websites are encrypted, the best approach is to use the service of companies such as Blue Coat Systems or even Symantec. You will need to safeguard your business from many angles and this will best be handled by experts. Given that these changes can be made relatively quickly, Blue Coat or other companies are a great way to give your website a quick boost in its search engine rankings.
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