Google starts boosting sites using HTTPS

HTTPSGoogle’s always had a thing for security. You’ll be able to see it immediately if you try to register an e-mail account with them and find that you’ll have to verify your account. They’ll do this by either texting or calling you with a verification code to complete your email registration process.


Why? Well there’s lots of nasty bots out there and ensuring website are human is now a standard for any online forms.


As fighting against bots with captchas has become as standard, so has https.


Google uses https prominently throughout its online services, especially on the Gmail service – making it more difficult for mail to be peered at by wandering eyes as it travels from a Gmail user’s device to Google’s data centers.


Up until recently https has been reserved for online payment gateways and online accounts that require personal or sensitive information.


But in a controversial move Google has decided that HTTPS should be used as a standard, and the whole web should be using it.


Google has been implementing tests to make sure that sites are using secure connections that are encrypted in their search engine ranking algorithms. Basically, they are now looking at sites using HTTPS, and using https as a signal to rank with.


At the moment, the ranking signal given by https is small, only impacting on approx. 1% of ranking authority. This small ranking factor is down to Google wanting to give webmasters some time to switch over to HTTPS for their domains. Thus, they’ll be practicing incremental change and may over time decide to raise the ranking signal for HTTPS to ensure a safe browsing experience.


Now, website developers that have in the past been less serious with security measures must now look to make a change. Google will soon publish notes on how website developers can best understand what is required of them when implementing HTTPS. Some of what Google will publish includes what type of certificate will have to be used for the site, how relative URLs should be used for resources when on the same domain, site indexing, and more.


This announcement by Google has by itself seen quite a lot of feedback from site developers and veterans of the SEO industry. The community supports this change Google is implementing, though they feel that this change was inevitable and are less than shocked to hear it.


Google has been stepping in the direction of also securing its own traffic recently. They have now started encrypting their traffic between their own servers. Though HTTPS and encrypting sites has been around since the late 2000’s, they are still very important today as best practices. A secure website will no doubt give the visitor peace of mind, especially when they are dealing with confidential details. SSL should be set in place to stop fraud from occurring and data from being intercepted by man in the middle attacks.


Essentially, the search rankings for secure websites are going nowhere but up. From an SEO standpoint, websites need to start introducing SSL or TSL security certificates to not only help their website in the area of security, but also to increase their site’s ranking.