Google To Reward Secure Websites
Google announced last week that they want websites to become more secure and will use their search results ranking as an incentive to make this change.
A URL that lists HTTPS as part of its address, for example, https://www.google.com, is an indication that the site uses Secure Sockets Layers (SSL). SSL is a security protocol that relies on certificates to ensure that any communication between the site and the Web browser is encrypted and therefore less vulnerable to being snooped on by the wrong people. With security always a concern on the Web, a site that uses SSL is considered safer than one without it. That’s why sites that require a password, financial data, or other private information should by default be using SSL.
As a result of the positive results of Google’s test, the team said it’s now using HTTPS — which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure — as a ranking signal in its search results, though the effort is just getting started.
“For now it’s only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1 percent of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content — while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS,” the Google team said. “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.”
What does this mean for most websites? Work with your webmaster and talk about moving your site to HTTPS.