CloudFlare a San Francisco-based Internet security provider is implementing Universal SSL for all customers, including those in the free tiers. If you are running a site and is looking to improve your SEO, this free service might just help you.
So what is SSL?
SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. When you are surfing around on the Internet, data packets are transmitted between the browser to the sites. If the site has a SSL certificate available, this means that transmission is encrypted. For sites without SSL, it runs a risk for the data to be intercepted. For example, DBS has a SSL cert too.
How it help SEO?
Beside the benefit of having a security layer, It is now also important to the site’s SEO. Months ago, Google Webmaster shared that they will be using SSL as a form of ranking signal. This means that if you have SSL on your blog or your site you will be rank higher.
We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now it’s only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content — while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web. via Link
Unless you were running a e-commerce site or a site that requires important and sensitive information, it is highly unlikely that you would get an SSL cert. Depending on the type of the SSL cert you are looking for, it cost from $9 a year to $248 a year. For a personal blog, I don’t think there is a need for a paid SSL. The best is to get it free.
Free SSL from CloudFlare
The team at CloudFlare is excited to announce the release of Universal SSL™. Beginning today, we will support SSL connections to every CloudFlare customer, including the 2 million sites that have signed up for the free version of our service. via link
CloudFlare protect sites from abusive bots and crawlers from wasting your bandwidth and server resources.
If you sign up for the service, it will act like a middle layer to get rid of unwanted traffic.
According to Ars Technica, there are some limitation to SSL.
The complexity of SSL has been a major impediment to its adoption by many website operators, but it isn’t the only one. Sites that rely on advertising for revenue, for example (such as Ars), are hindered by the lack of adoption of SSL by those operations and their resulting requirement for both the presentation of unencrypted content and referral data. In the past, SSL has also been an issue for sites that use content caching, though this would not be an issue for sites front-ended by CloudFlare. via Link
Also you have to take note that since CloudFlare act as the middle layer, it will intercept your data. If your site is dealing with sensitive information, it is still better to get a paid SSL.
However Launchbyte has signed up with Cloudflare, we believe there is nothing to lose and everything to gain with SSL and maybe a plus in ranking signal.