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How website security affects SEO

In July, Google will be upping their web security game, making it easier for web users to tell whether a website is secure or not. They’re going to be doing this by updating the way they display a website’s level of security within Google Search Results, and ranking those that are not secure as lower than those that are.

Web security is an issue that has been gathering momentum over the past few years, and you only have to open the nearest newspaper to be bombarded with scandals of data misuse and online privacy infringements. But how is “security” classified for a website? Well, one simple way of explaining it is by determining whether a website is HTTP or HTTPS (a little hint, the “S” stands for “Secure”). HTTPS websites have something called an SSL Certificate that essentially makes sure that any data users release to that website is secured and remains private.


At the moment, the only visual distinction between HTTPS and non-HTTPS websites is that the former have a little green padlock in their browser’s URL bar, and the latter don’t. But come July, websites that don’t have an SSL certificate and are non-HTTPS will be displayed as being “not secure” in Google’s Search Results. The aim is to make it easier for users to identify websites that aren’t safe and that don’t protect their visitors’ private and personal data.

seo and google rankings

What do Google’s changes mean for websites and eCommerce stores?

Reduced brand loyalty and trust

It is widely held belief that websites without that little green padlock in the URL are “bad”, so if your website doesn’t have one that isn’t going to do much to boost your visitors’ trust in your brand. This issue is magnified for eCommerce websites when you consider the fact that customers share such private information as personal addresses and bank details.


Negative impact on SEO

As the search engine Gods, Google have the power to punish websites that don’t meet their standards of security. So if a website is non-HTTPS, when the Googlebot comes across it, it will give it a lower ranking for not being secure.


Drop in leads, conversions and sales

Reduced trust in your brand and a lower search engine ranking may seem like they won’t matter to your company, but they can hugely impact your figures. They could impact the number of leads, conversions and sales that you receive, potentially causing massive drops.

ssl certificate

How can you prepare for Google’s web security changes?

The easiest way to make sure that your website has a solid reputation for being secure and safe for users, is for it to have an SSL Certificate. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral.

A web page with SSL protection has a padlock icon to reflect that the user is accessing a secure page.  Studies have already shown that consumers usually abandon online checkouts if the site doesn’t appear secure, so an SSL acts as reassurance to your customers, therefore encouraging business or custom to ensue.

Being a https:// site boosts your SEO, and Google has publicly stated that it gives preference to secure websites using HTTPS, so with an SSL certificate your company is likely to rank higher, resulting in more visits which can translate into more business. As of July, this will be the norm for all websites, so it’s definitely a good idea to be prepared.


Foundry Digital have a lot of experience in web security and we always aim to help our clients be optimised for web performance, including with their own website security. When Google updates its algorithm to rank non-secure websites lower than secure websites, you won’t want to be caught out. For SEO purposes having an SSL Certificate integrated into your website is the best way forward so  get in touch with Foundry Digital today if you would like some assistance with its purchase and implementation.

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