Google Announces HTTPS Will Have Weight in Search Rankings
In an announcement on their blog, Google webmasters have stated that given their commitment to security and improving the security of sites that they direct Google users to, they will be lightly weighting secure server connections in their algorithms going forward. While in their announcement they claim that this round of changes will only effect a small amount of searches at this point and not outweigh other factors such as the quality of content on a site, they also stated that depending on initial results, they may increase the weight given to having an https connection as opposed to an http connection, the kind that the majority of websites currently use. What does this mean for small businesses? For now, not much. It is unlikely that the search terms that they are competing for will be directly effected by the light re balancing Google is talking about. That being said, in the future having a secure connection may become more important, meaning businesses that take steps to implement https on their website may be able to see gains going forward as well as use it as a way to stand out against competition.
What is Https? Essentially, an Https connection is one that uses certificates to authenticate that a web surfer has really found the site that they are trying to communicate with and not a stand in or decoy version of a secure form. This is used currently on many sites where sensitive information is used in order to prevent data theft. Practically, however, it can be used on any type of website that wishes to authenticate itself to visitors. This has a wide range of practical applications, from generating more trust on the part of visitors, to preventing issues on e-commerce and secure log-in pages.
Photo Credit to Yuri Samoilov on Flickr