Google has revealed it has started to use HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) as a ranking signal.
A recent Webmaster Tools blog article highlighted the search engine giant’s policy on security, explaining: “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.”
With that security focus in mind, it tested using encrypted connections as an additional signal in its search ranking algorithms - and liked the results.
Google has now added HTTPS as a ranking signal, although it said that at this stage “it's only a very lightweight signal” that will affect less than 1% of global queries.
But for how long?
High quality content is still the main signal that the Google algorithm uses. The news that in the future Google may strengthen the signal to favour HTTPS sites though does pose the question, is it now time to make all sites HTTPS?
I expect that over the next few months we will see more websites deploying secure encrypted connections, which at the moment are mainly used on ecommerce sites.
Here at Smart Arts we always follow SEO best practice to give our clients the greatest chance of ranking highly in search results and, in future, we will take this news into account.
Making the web a more secure place is a good thing for everybody and it seems Google is playing its part in helping to improve security for everyone.
What do you think? Will Google's attempt to make the web a more secure place work? Will you rethink your website strategy to take into account this new development?
If you would like to discuss how this new ‘ranking signal’ could affect your site, give us a call.