Google To Start Using HTTPS As A Ranking Signal

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Google wants the entire Internet to be safe.  They’ve taken steps to insure that all of their services – Gmail, Drive, Google+, etc. – are all using stronger HTTPS encryption by default.  While Google services do comprise quite a bit of traffic on the Internet, they’re obviously not the only show in town.  Google is taking steps to try and promote HTTPS and higher security around the Web in a way that they are almost singularly qualified – Search rank.

From Google’s Webmasters Blog:

At Google I/O a few months ago, we called for “HTTPS everywhere” on the web.

We’ve also seen more and more webmasters adopting HTTPS (also known as HTTP over TLS, or Transport Layer Security), on their website, which is encouraging.

For these reasons, over the past few months we’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. 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.

Baby steps are probably best, as Google wouldn’t want to completely upend their search algorithms without giving sites time to adopt stronger encryption.  Moving to HTTPS is of benefit to everybody, and Google is using some of their considerable influence to get the ball rolling.  They’ve laid out some of the important steps and items for site owners to consider at the source link below.

What do you think about Google trying to boost HTTPS adoption?  Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.

  Source: Google Webmaster Blog

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