SSL Is A Ranking Factor Now. Are You Using It?
Posted: 11 Nov 2014 08:16 PM PST
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It’s basically a protocol to cryptograph data sent over the Web (e.g., over the HTTP protocol), making it more secure.
Until a couple of years ago only large websites and online stores used SSL, especially on the payment processing pages.
This picture has been changing quite fast. In fact most established websites and companies today use SSL, not only for payment processing but also for user login, authentication and so on.
Google is a big proponent of SSL, and a couple of months ago it announced that it will start using SSL as a search ranking factor. Here’s a quotation from the official announcement:
Beyond our own stuff, we’re also working to make the Internet safer more broadly. A big part of that is making sure that websites people access from Google are secure. For instance, we have created resources to help webmasters prevent and fix security breaches on their sites.
We want to go even further. At Google I/O a few months ago, we called for “HTTPS everywhere” on the web.
We’ve also seen more and more webmasters adopting HTTPS (also known as HTTP over TLS, or Transport Layer Security), on their website, which is encouraging.
For these reasons, 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.