Google Will Reward Websites with Higher Security

Do you use an HTTPS on your website? If you do, you might see a jump in your site’s search ranking soon. Kelly Kirkham explains why… 
Last week, Google announced their plans to give extra credit to sites using a HTTPS as an added feature to keep users safe.
“Security is a top priority for Google. We invest a lot in making sure that our services use industry-leading security, like strong HTTPS encryption by default,” a Google spokesperson said in an interview with the Google Webmaster Central Blog.
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) contrary to its name is not a protocol in and of itself. Rather it is the result of layering the HTTP that is regularly used on top of an SSL protocol. This adds the security capabilities of SSL to our regular use of HTTP within communications. HTTPS serves as a way to avoid IP spoofing and other common data security breaches.
Google has recently been running trials to test the success of secure, encrypted connections within search ranking algorithms, stating…
“We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal.”
Google also indicated that the ranking signal will increase over time after sites have had time to adjust.
“For now it’s only a very lightweight signal – affecting fewer than one 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. 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.”
Google recommends these basic tips to get started…

  • Decide on the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate.
  • Use 2048-bit key certificates.
  • Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain.
  • Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains.
  • Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
  • Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag.

If you’re ahead of the game and are already serving on HTTPS you can test its security level with theQualys Lab tool. More websites using HTTPS serves all web users and will add another layer of protection from hackers who may exploit personal information.
To find out more about SSL certificates and adding them to your hosting package, visit the Midphase website.