Google has announced that it will be ranking secure websites which adopt ‘HTTPS’ encryption measures higher in its search rankings as it looks to tighten down on cyber criminals exploiting insecure sites.
This decision will make web users less exposed to hackers by encouraging websites to implement HTTPS encryption which scrambles data passing from media-viewing devices to online addresses.
Sites which have “HTTPS” web addresses, are recognisable by the padlock image in the browser’s search bar, will soon be higher ranked within the search engines ranking. Currently, the uptake of HTTPS is less than 1% of websites but this is expected to increase.
Google is looking to increase security of its own services too this year by revealing that it will be rewarding hackers who expose any possible vulnerabilities in its systems.
Google’s Webmaster trends analysts Zineb Ait Bahajji and Gary Llyes stated in a blog post: “Security is a top priority for Google. We invest a lot in making sure that our services use industry-leading security, like strong HTTPS encryption by default. That means that people using Search, Gmail and Drive, for example, automatically have a secure connection to Google.”
“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.”