There has been a lot of discussion in the SEO world for the past few years surrounding SSL certifications, Mixed Content and how this effects web site ranking in search algorithms. There is no doubt this has become a stronger ranking factor than ever before and Google has been sending the signals for years.
Adding a SSL certificate and making sure there is no mixed content on the domain will certainly produce positive ranking results for your website. It has been tested and proven over and over. Now is the time to secure your website using and SSL certificate and create a secure environment for your visitors to enjoy your content and purchase your products and services free of fear. Every website needs and SSL, you can now acquire free SSL’s on most any server using the free service provided by LetsEncrypt.org
What Is An SSL Certificate?
An SSL or Secure Socket Layer is what makes online transactions secure. Using encryption from on location to the other the information while in transit cannot be captured by those with harm in mind. Your bank, your email provider and many other online eCommerce web sites have been using this security measure to keep your information safe for years. These are configured on the server side and this is what puts that little padlock icon in your address bar next to the url of the website you are currently browsing.
This technology has been required in some financial and medical fields for years, but today, you simply must have an SSL certificate to look legitimate online.
Learn more about SSL Certificates here: https://techterms.com/definition/ssl
Google often makes changes to its ranking factors to force the majority of the web to make changes to make the internet a better place for all. Years back, Google made a statement that if in rankings, there was in effect a “tie” they would move the website that had an SSL to the top if other factors were too hard to differentiate. Today, there is more motivation than that. Now on Chrome, you will find a full page message popping up warning you of insecure content and asking the user if they want to proceed. In some cases, there is simply a notification saying “Not Secure” in the address bar of browser, either way this does not look good for any business. Now, if you want people to take your website seriously, you “have” to have a secure certificate installed on your web server.
Does Having A SSL Certificate & No Mixed Content Really Boost Rankings?
OK, let’s do a quick experiment. Go to Google, leave this page open of course, and search anything you can think of. Now look at the results. What do you see? In most every search you run on google today you are going to have to dig down into the pages past 10 to find a website that is now ranking without an SSL. This is all you need to know, you simply have to have no mixed content and ssl certificates in place if you want Google to take you seriously in 2020 and beyond.
All the big name blogging tools only allow for HTTPS content these days, so that is not an issue. The big problem is web site owners who did not want to pay extra for this security measure in years past. It is time to make the change…NOW!
Having a valid SSL certificate and mixed content not being an issue, you will certainly find higher rankings and not be penalized in search results. For businesses that are just now starting a new website, this is not as much of an issue, but if you have yet to update your site there is absolutely no excuse to leaving your old site vulnerable to security issues and penalization’s in your web sites rankings.
What Is Mixed Content?
This term has been thrown around quite a lot recently. All mixed content means is that your page has both secure and insecure content on it. Rather this content is a link to http address instead of a https address or if there is an image that is loading on your page from an insecure http URL, it all counts. The object of the SSL is to make sure that everything on the page is indeed secure. This is why web browsers all them the authority to show the lock icon to let the user know that their personal information is being protected.
When there is insecure content present, this throws a red flag in every which direction. Many times even though you have applied a secure certificate properly the webpage will not show as secure. If you start off a new website hosted on a secure environment, this will be less of an issue. Most people find this issue when they are migrating an existing site from HTTP to HTTPS.
How Can I Find And Fix Mixed Content On My Website?
Great question. There are many paid tools out there that have an option to look through your web site for mixed content and provide reports so you can then fix these types of issues. However, you certainly do not have to spend any money to find your onsite issues to do with mixed content and SSL certificates. The hardest part is finding mixed content, if you have recently added a SSL secure certificate to your website, there may still be some lingering links and image files not covered by the certificate and may still be loading from HTTP instead of HTTPS. This content is not considered to be secure and until it is corrected, you may as well not even have a secure certificate on your site.
So finding the culprits is half the battle. Many urls will be updated automatically assuming your have made changes to the install directory and site directory inside of WordPress to the secure URL. However, any links you have created manually may not be fixed and this can cause the mixed content issues discussed previously. Post content and links added manually to headers, footers and sidebars may be holding you back from getting that pretty little padlock to let people know your site is secure.
5 Free Websites To Locate Mixed Content On Your Website
Each of these tools have slightly different features to check on secure content and help you flush out all that nasty mixed content on your site. Some will scan the site, some only scan one page, but they are all free, so go play and enjoy!
Or Try This Free Chrome Extension : HTTPS Mixed Content Locator
A Padlock In The Browser Is Worth A Thousand Words
Well, maybe not, but we like to think so. If you have your SSL and mixed content is not an issue on your website, this does provide real security for user information and financial transactions. This also is a confidence booster to the person visiting your website. If you continue to struggle with correcting mixed content issues, you may reach out to your host or you can always drop us a line too!
Once you have fixed mixed content and ssl certificates issues found on your site, this is going to boost confidence in visitors and in Google’s eyes. We hope the information we shared in this article helps you move on with your new secure HTTPS website and start ranking higher today!
Need Help With Other Onsite of Offsite SEO Services?
We can help! If you need help cleaning up mixed content, making sure your SSL certificate is valid or other on site SEO, just drop us a line below. NS Technologies offers a variety of digital marketing and search engine optimization services. We specialize in local GMB rankings and can even help you create a beautiful and functional website to help your company bring in more leads and sales. Contact us below and let us know how we may best serve your company’s needs.