It’s not often that Google is so transparent about organic ranking. Yet on Wednesday, it announced that websites with secure, encrypted connections are likely to be rewarded in search ranking algorithms. This news comes merely days after a huge cyber attack from Russia, which has resulted in the personal information of potentially millions of people being compromised.
Recently, more and more webmasters have started using HTTPS on their sites. Noticing this change, Google is hoping to achieve ‘HTTPS everywhere’ on the web in coming years. With this in mind, during the past few months Google has been running tests which take into account secure sites when determining rank. As a result, Google has decided to include HTTPS as a ranking signal from now on.
Don’t worry, for now this will only affect less than 1% of search queries globally, with other factors such as quality content carrying much more weight. However we’d advise you to start preparing sooner rather than later, as Google has plans to strengthen this ranking signal over time. Who knows when they’ll decide to do this?
Secure encryption works by digitally scrambling data, making it harder for hackers to find and make sense of.
Adding the encryption to your site will cost you time and money, but it is well worth the investment. Now that Google is officially on board with secure sites, it’s safe to assume that secure encryption may even become a necessity in time.
Already have a secure, encrypted site? Great! Just make sure you test your site’s security level (try the Qualys SSL Lab tool).
Don’t currently have a secure, encrypted site? No problem, but here’s what you can do to be prepared:
• Find out what type of certificate you’ll need (be sure to use 2048-bit key certificates)
• Use robots.txt to stop your secure site from blocking crawls
• Allow search engine indexing, avoid the noindex robots meta tag
If you work with developers, they should be able to guide you through the process.
Need a helping hand? We can advise you on site security, so if you’re stuck, get in touch!