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SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificates are digital certificates that are used to authenticate and encrypt online communication.

They provide a secure connection between a web server and a user’s web browser, ensuring that all data transmitted between the two is encrypted and cannot be intercepted by a third party.

An SSL certificate contains information about the identity of the website owner, as well as the public key that is used for encryption. When a user connects to a website with an SSL certificate, their browser first checks that the SSL certificate is valid and has not expired, and then establishes a secure connection with the website’s server.

There are several types of SSL certificates available, ranging from basic domain validation certificates to more advanced extended validation certificates. Domain validation certificates simply verify that the website owner has control over the domain name, while extended validation certificates require a more rigorous verification process that includes verifying the identity and physical location of the website owner.

In addition to providing security for online communication, SSL certificates can also help to improve a website’s search engine ranking. Google has indicated that websites with SSL certificates may receive a slight boost in search engine rankings compared to those without, as SSL is seen as an important factor in ensuring a safe and secure online environment.