Google has given a crystal clear signal that securing customer and business data with HTTPS is an increasingly important factor for ranking well in its search listings.
The search engine giant is updating its algorithms to give preference to sites using secure HTTPS signals following a programme of testing – and the effect is likely to get stronger.
“Over 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. For now it’s only a very lightweight signal—affecting fewer than 1% 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.”
This announcement should provide extra food for thought for e-commerce sites considering switching to HTTPS to reduce the risks of hacking, who now have an additional powerful incentive to make the switch.