Google is considering the security of a website as a rank factor for their search engine. By doing so we can expect a shift to more https compatible websites. According to a blog post on Wednesday

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.

This means that Google is seeing positive results in relevancy from pages that are using https. This is a clear indicator that a website that is not https compatible should try to opt in for a certificate as soon as it can. Keep in mind though it is stated that it affects less than 1% of search queries meaning high quality websites with quality content will not be hit hard this is more of a way to encourage the popularization of https as the web standard.

It is further stated though that Google may increase the https factor in the future to try to encourage more webmasters to switch to https.

If you are on a page such as hub pages and are worried about losing ranking over the lack of a SSL certificate you do not have to worry. The amount of results that this is affecting is miniscule however it does bring up the valid point of websites do need to start being more secure.

An SSL certificate basically encrypts or scrambles the information that is being received from a particular website. A partially encrypted website is giving you all of its content via encryption but the content from other servers (advertising networks, third-party scripts, etc) are not encrypted. This means that you are safe for the most part, on pages that involve the handling of credit cards and transactions you are required to have an SSL or the trust of your vending is going way down. The reason for this is because if you go to pay for something do you want your credit card number passed through without being scrambled. No you don’t want anyone to know it therefore the use of an SSL is necessary. However an SSL is not the end all be all of website security.

There are more ways to protect a website. For instance the use of Cloudflare like on this website improves the security greatly. Cloudflare intercepts thousands of malicious visitors whether they are bots, crawlers, etc. Cloudflare has blocked several thousand users from accessing our website another form of security is rewrites to the HTACCESS File.

SSL Certificates do need to become more wide-spread, however there are a lot more ways that websites could improve their security but neglect.

What do you think of this new change? Is Google stepping out of line here?


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