Google is adding its considerable weight to the online security space by giving a rankings boost to sites that go HTTPS. HTTPS means adding an SSL 2048-bit key certificate to a Web site, and thus increasing the security of the site.
Google says security is a top priority. Its services use things like strong HTTPS encryption by default. “Beyond our own stuff, we’re also working to make the Internet safer more broadly. A big part of that is making sure that Web sites people access from Google are secure. For instance, we have created resources to help Web masters prevent and fix security breaches on their sites.”
Google says it has been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in its search ranking algorithms, and having seen positive results, it has decided to implement security 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 Web masters time to switch to HTTPS,” Google says.
“But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all Web site owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the Web.”
For site owners looking to boost site visits and Google rankings, applying SSL certificates and enforcing always-on SSL standards will mean that the Web site is secured from start to finish through HTTPS.