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What is SSL?

BY Brandon du Preez

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is an industry standard behind establishing an encrypted/secure connection between a web server (host) and a web browser (client).


Having a website, online shop or any service relating to a domain can bring multitudes of prospective customers to your business.  These customers need to be confident that information provided won’t be intercepted and used maliciously.

How it works

When SSL is used, your browser receives a certificate from the website that it uses to verify that the website is who and what they claim. Using this certificate information, a cryptographic key is generated for your browser. It then encrypts data before sending it to the server who has the key to decrypt it. You can think of it like a box being locked. You have a key to lock it and the server has a key to unlock it, ensuring that should the data be captured by anybody else, it cannot be opened and read.

Google's Opinion

Google prefers sites that are certified, these sites have a trust benefactor which is provided through SSL encrypting the data being sent. This trust benefactor intern provides a ranking advantage over a site that is not using SSL. Even though this is a lightweight factor in the ranking algorithm, it is a benefit that all companies can capitalise on, confidential information or not.

How do I know if a site has SSL?

Most browsers will display a small lock icon in the address bar or provide another form of indication. This tells you that you are in a secure SSL session. If you click the small lock icon it will open the details relating to the SSL Certificate. You will also notice that the "http" in the address bar becomes "https".

What are the benefits of having SSL?

  • Stronger Google rankings.
  • Protects sensitive data
  • Safer online experiences for your prospects.
  • Increases the visitors trust
 April 04, 2017
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