Google giving higher rankings to HTTPS sites

CMO Innovation editors
CMO Innovation

As part of its efforts to create a "safer" Internet, Google has announced that it has tweaked its search engine algorithm to give websites using HTTPS encryption a bump up in their search rankings.

“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,” according to the blog post on the Google Webmaster Central blog by Webmaster Trends Analysts Zineb Ait Bahajji and Gary Illyes.

And though the advantage is slight at the moment--the factor carries less weight than other signals such as high-quality content, for example, the search engine giant served notice that things could eventually change.

“For now it's only a very lightweight signal…” wrote Bahajji and Illyes. “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.”

The announcement also includes a number of basic tips for organizations looking to implement HTTPS. We highlight the most pertinent ones below:

  • Decide the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate
  • Use 2048-bit key certificates
  • Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
  • Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
  • Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
  • Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag.

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