Why Google is changing how it ranks your website
This Wednesday's Google Webmaster Blog was all about security, and how Google are going to force a safer web world. How are they proposing that this will be achieved? By encouraging website owners and developers to adopt HTTPS, in other words, install a security certificate on all websites.
Until now, generally only websites undertaking transactions that require encryption e.g. e-commerce, banking etc, have installed security certificates. Most website users know to look for https://... before entering any sensitive information into a web interface, the little lock symbol is the other indicator.
But Google want to take things further, they want all websites to go this route, with the intention of making a more secure web, from banking, to buying shoes, to reading the news, checking the weather, or reading this blog. Running HTTPS encryption makes websites less vulnerable to hacking, so that's got to be a good thing.
Google have therefore, to encourage HTTPS use, decided to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. This means that websites using HTTPS will get ranking preference in search results. Initially it's only going to be a lightweight preference while they give websites time to make the switch, so it's not going to crucially affect your website Google rankings, but at some point they may decide to strengthen ranking preference for having HTTPS on a website.
If you're worried about what this may mean for your website, don't worry, installing a security certificate is not as expensive as it used to be. There are now quite a few options available at very reasonable prices.
We install security certificates on websites, so if you want to make your website secure, and grab that tiny (at the moment) boost that Google is giving in their search rankings for HTTPS adoption, then talk to us on (403) 621-3747 about the options and costs. After all, a more secure web is something that we will all benefit from.
Source/more information: Google Webmaster Central Blog