Google loves them and punishes sites that don’t have one. Because not having an SSL certificate makes your site (and the data passing through it) insecure and vulnerable to cyber criminals.
Ok time for the boring stuff. SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. It’s basically a security fence between your website and the internet. It makes sure that all data passing from your web browser to the web server is encrypted and secure.
This is very good and very necessary.
So Google led the charge to make sure all the websites on the internet had an SSL certificate installed.
They keep your shit safe.
When a website has an SSL certificate the url is prefixed by https instead of http. It also gets that fancy padlock on it. And who doesn’t love a website with that little padlock? For reals though, it makes us feel like our information is safe and we trust the site more.
We don’t stay on a site that doesn’t have that secure padlock.
Even if it’s the site of a local gutter fixing handyman that you found after clicking a link looking for someone in your area to fix your busted gutter. Google gives yoou a warning that the site you’re trying to visit is insecure (without an SSL certificate) so you just hit that trusty back button and click the next link on the list.
Visitors feel safe and trust you.
SSL certificates are used to secure data transfers, credit card transactions, logins and other personal information. So they are SUPER important for ecommerce sites.
Online stores that don’t have an SSL certificate are a big no-no. Customer information including addresses and even credit card information can be intercepted.
They keep sensitive customer information secure.
There is no excuse anymore not have an SSL certificate on your site. They used to be quite expensive, and the free ones were crap and didn’t work properly. But when Google went on its quest to get them everywhere then “the SSL people” were forced to provide adequate free alternatives. Yay! So now there are great free SSL certificates available to secure your site with. Installing them on your server is mostly easy, but making sure your site now actually uses the https instead of http requires a bit of know-how and ensuring your images and fonts are still served to browsers is also a step to get right.
Free options abound, but be sure to instal it correctly. Your web hosting provider can easily help you with this.
Google doesn’t only love sites with SSL certificates, but it actively punishes those without. So for SEO’s sake be sure you have one working its magic on your site.