Most people know that Google is rather secretive when it comes to how their search engine works. Indeed, outside of emphasizing the use of quality content that is user-friendly, Google generally masks any other variables that characterize their ranking process and how to reach the first page for your key business terms. This is why last week’s announcement on Google’s Online Security blog came as bit of a surprise, as Google clearly states:
“[O]ver the past few months we’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal.”
What is the difference between HTTP and HTTPS? Put simply, HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, in that it uses data encryption secured by an SSL certificate. This means that your website is more secure, and since security is a top priority for Google, you will start receiving a small boost to your rankings.
If you’re like most of our clients, you may not have previously seen a need for an HTTPS website unless you are in an Ecommerce or similar business that collects sensitive information from users. While that has been true, with Google’s recent announcement, it may be time to start thinking about a switch to HTTPS if you want to begin receiving the benefits. As Google states, the ranking signal may be strengthened going forward:
“[O]ver 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.”
If you’d like to learn more we encourage you to check out the security blog linked above, as it also provides you with some basic tips on switching from HTTP to HTTPS. You can also contact us if you have any questions or would like to get started on receiving a secure certificate for your website.