Google puts its money where its mouth is: HTTPS becomes a ranking factor!
It is Google’s intention to encourage as many websites as possible to use a secure https connection. The carrot that the search giant dangles in front of webmasters is quite alluring: a higher ranking!
In our blog post published on 3 June, we announced that Google was maybe going to reward the pages that use an SSL certificate with a higher ranking. And now, Google puts its money where its mouth is: in a recent blog post, the search giant confirmed that the presence (or the absence) of https will be taken into account as a ranking factor.
As a matter of fact, Google wants to improve Internet security. Google makes all efforts to make sure that the websites that Internet users visit via Google’s search results are safe to visit. This security is guaranteed by the https protocol or HTTP over TLS (Transport Layer Security). Depending on his web browser, a visitor who lands on a page secured by https will notice several elements that indicate that the page is safe to visit. With Firefox, for instance, he will get a green address bar, and a small lock will appear at the bottom of the page.
As part of this strategy, Google’s search algorithm will from now on give a higher ranking to websites that make use of https. At this point, this factor will not be essential (less than 1 % of all the search results are concerned). This way, webmasters will have enough time to implement SSL. However, Google does not rule out that this factor will become more important by the day. In fact, Google already launched the “HTTPS everywhere” project...
Concretely, in order to be able to activate this https protocol, you need an SSL certificate. Depending on the type of certificate, this will allow websites to confirm their identity (lowest security level), or website owners to let visitors know they are a trusted company (highest security level). In previous articles, we already explained what these SSL certificates are, and why they are necessary. For further information, please refer to our special section and our FAQ about SSL certificates. Google already uploaded an online tool to verify the efficiency of your certificate, and check if the certificates were properly configured.
Help the Internet be a more secure place, and use a certificate for your website. Our helpdesk specialists will be happy to answer all your questions.