Business

Google's new algorithm prioritizes encrypted sites in search results

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Image Credit: Esparta Palma via Flickr

Over the past few months, Google has been running tests to develop an algorithm that accounts for site encryption in search result ranking, the company said in a blog post by webmaster trend analysts, Zineb Ait Bahajji and Gary Illyes.

This means that if your site uses HTTPS, it will appear slightly higher in search results than a site that doesn’t.

“We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal,” Bahajji and Illyes wrote. Googles says it’s a “lightweight signal,” so high quality sites are still going to show up at the top of search results. Meaning this new algorithm isn’t going to make a huge difference — yet.

But it’s a pretty big move and should push sites that care about search result ranking (read: all sites) to beef up their encryption and security protocols. Google says it’s also open to making HTTPS a stronger signal as time goes on.

To help guide encryptionless websites in the right direction, the company is in the process of writing best-practice blog posts. Bahajji and Illyes also encourage websites owners to test their security level using the Qualys Lab tool and of course, post in their Webmaster Help Forums.


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