Secure your site and nudge your search engine ranking
In an effort to promote secure sites, Google has introduced a new parameter to influence ranking based on whether sites use secure, encrypted connections or not.
HTTPS (Hypertext Transport Protocol Secure), helps to protect the confidentiality of your users' data. For example, if you site is using a shopping cart, you are likely to request the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of your clients during the checkout process. Would you, as a shopper, be willing to give that information out knowing that it may leak out to hackers 'listening' when the registration form is being submitted? If the site is not using a SSL certificate, the data is being transmitted in plain text, a bit like a postcard that can be viewed by anyone knowing how to find it.
The same applies with your login details. Much publicity has been given to the need to choose secure passwords that can't easily be cracked, but this is useless unless those passwords are encrypted when submitted via a web page. Without a SSL certificate, these passwords can't be encrypted.
If your site doesn't collect any information from people browsing its pages, then it may not be worthwhile upgrading it to use a SSL certificate. In Google's own admission, this new 'signal' as they call it is not going to make a huge difference to your site's ranking, at least for now. But, if you are collecting users information, then you should certainly invest in a SSL certificate, not because it may improve your site's ranking, but because you are responsible for keeping that information safe. It just makes sense from a security point of view
You can read the article from Google at
and you can also find out more about Google's 'https everywhere' if you have a look at this video from them.