What is an SSL Certificate?

A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is easily explained as a form of electronic credentials for websites, and it is used to send encrypted information between the browser and the server. All your data is thus sent encrypted and remains private to unauthorized persons.

There are three different types of SSL certificates (with different security levels) that we now intend to go through. These are DV (Domain Validation), OV (Organization Validation) and EV (Extended Validation). When using EV, the company name is displayed in the browser’s address bar, and because it is the most secure form of SSL, it is often used by, for example, banks and insurance companies. SSL technology was developed in the mid-1990s, and has been around for a while. SSL certificates are time-limited and usually need to be renewed annually.

SSL affects visibility in Google

Since July 2018, Google primarily wants to send its traffic to secure pages (those with SSL) as it makes the internet safer for all users. Additionally, sites without SSL are marked as “not secure” in Google Chrome, as a further way of alerting users to the fact that traffic is not encrypted. This means that how well you appear in Google can be affected by whether you have SSL or not, and therefore SSL is recommended if you want to be high in the search results.

How to identify SSL?

It is very easy to see if a site has SSL or not. For example, you can check if the site’s URL starts with https (then it has SSL) or http (then it does NOT have an SSL certificate). A padlock icon is also usually displayed in the browser’s address bar to indicate that the site has SSL installed.

Do you use eg Google Chrome will select it if the site you need is secure or not, and these will appear to the left of the site’s URL in the address bar. This is incredibly good, and we really recommend that you keep track of the sites you visit, and whether they are safe or not.