As one of the largest online companies with a full suite of different products security is no laughing matter for Google. The company invests considerable time and resources to ensure that folks using its services have a secure connection to its servers. By default most of its major services use HTTPS encryption and now the company is leveraging its position as the biggest online search engine to compel webmasters to do the same.
Google has confirmed that it will now use HTTPS as a ranking signal in search. What this means is that websites with HTTPS are likely to get a better ranking as opposed to websites that don’t use HTTPS. Google has been running tests on this for the past few months and says that for now it will only affect less than one percent of all global queries.
Content obviously plays a major part in a website’s ranking, as do a number of other factors that Google Search measures. For now use of HTTPS will only slightly affect the rankings but Google itself says that over time it may decide to give this more weight, which is why it encourages website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS.
The company is going to publish detailed best practices in the coming weeks to make this easier for webmasters. This change is in line with Google’s aim to make the Internet as a whole much safer, it resonates with the company’s “HTTPS everywhere” call made back at I/O 2014.