Is your website secure?

HTTPS-Secure-SitesOn August 6th, Google made an interesting announcement concerning a change to the search engine giant’s algorithm. So what makes this announcement especially interesting? Unlike most changes to the algorithm that work to improve user experience with the search engine, this announcement had one main goal: Security.

On the Google Webmaster Central Blog, Google did something it very rarely does. It identified HTTPS as a clear ranking signal in their search algorithm. Since they rarely go out of their way to provide details around their ranking signals, calling this one out specifically is an interesting choice. While they admit that this is a “lightweight signal”, this announcement should send a clear message to advertisers that the search engine is placing a value on how hard you work to protect the information of your users.

So Why Does Google Care?

In previous months, Google has stated that since making the move to secure search, one of their next focuses would be on keeping everyone safe on the web. With the strength that Google currently holds in the Internet landscape, an announcement like this one could very well be the first step of an entirely encrypted web. While Internet security will always be a moving target, as hackers become more and more advanced in their methods, HTTPS offers a way to protect users as they navigate the web.

Should You Secure Your Site With HTTPS?

Google makes this very clear. As of right now, the ranking factor involved is very weak, supposedly affecting less than 1% of search results. However, Google does go on to say, “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.”

Google certainly isn’t vague in what their expectation is here. Securing your site with an SSL certificate will likely soon be much more important for your search rankings, so making the move now is likely a good idea. Judging by how fast users generally adopt Google’s best practices and guidelines, this is likely one that is going to take some time to take hold, and it’s likely we’ll see security become a more important search ranking factor.

Article By v9seo