Google is trying their best to make SEO practices as fair as possible for everybody, but this brand new SSL epidemic has people questioning the legitimacy of Google’s claims. For those who don’t know what an SSL certificate is, it’s pretty much a security certificate for legitimate businesses online. You’ll notice that some of the major sites you visit like Facebook will have the HTTPS:// in front of their URLs. This is actually the best thing you can see from a website, because it means that the connection you’re making to that particular website is secure, nobody can break into it and steal your information or any of that junk. The “Heartbleed Bug” would be the perfect example of SSL problems putting people in drastic situations, but Google has made it a ranking factor so that more and more sites are taking it upon themselves to get SSL certified (at least that’s why we think they’re doing it). Adding it as a ranking factor would seduce other webmasters into getting an SSL of their own for each and every single website that they oversee, and of course that would make the internet a “safer” place all around.
It’s hard to police something as broad as the worldwide web, but some people are calling Google out because of their brand new ranking factors. Some people will tell you that it’s all a sham, and the fact that Google is planning to roll out an SSL provider of their very own isn’t making things any better. It’s up to you to decide if you really need an SSL certificate, you shouldn’t let one person opinion persuade you into making a decision you wouldn’t make otherwise. I follow tons of “SEO Gurus” on Twitter and a few of them were even surprised at this information being released, but I still took it upon myself to learn more about the entire thing. Knowledge can’t be bought, it has to be obtained through observation and that’s exactly what I did. I don’t even really understand what the big deal is, Google is a company that is always messing with their algorithm, and toytthey’re perfectionists.
I can’t tell you for certain whether these new SSL certificate ranking factors play a large part in the way SEO works or not, but I can tell you how you should get one for yourself. Make sure you know what kind of certificate you need, whether it be a single, multi-domain or even a “wildcard” variety. 2048-bit key certificates are the recommended choice, and when it’s recommended it’s probably what you’ll want to get. Another thing most webmasters tend to forget is that they should never block their HTTPS site from being crawled, they can do this through the use of their robots.txt file. Your pages deserve to be indexed after all, so make sure that you’re letting them do that as well! SEO is always changing guys, and if you get left behind there’s no telling how much you’re going to need to catch up on.