Google to demote HTTPS-less websites in search results

Google has set out plans to award websites with HTTPS deployed higher search rankings

Internet search

Google has confirmed sites that employ the HTTPS communications protocol by default will receive higher search listings than those that don't.

The HTTPS protocol is used to prevent wiretapping and man-in-the-middle-type cyber attacks by allowing users to securely communicate online.

The company has embarked on the move to help ensure the sites people access through its search listings are secure, having banged the drum for HTTPS to be deployed more widely across the web during its Google I/O conference back in June.

Google said in a blog post that it has already run tests that take into account whether a site has HTTPs deployed when compiling its search listings.

"We've seen positive results, so we're starting to use HTTPs as a ranking signal," the blog post confirms.

"For now it's only a very lightweight signal affecting fewer than one per cent of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS," it adds.

Google said it might increase the weighting of HTTPs on search results as time goes on, as part of its bid to encourage wider take-up of the protocol across the web.

To help website owners through the transition, Google has outlined a number of steps in the blog they should take to make sure they've implemented HTTPs properly.

"If your website is already serving on HTTPS, you can test its security level and configuration with the Qualys Lab tool," the blog continues.

"We hope to see more websites using HTTPS in the future. Let's all make the web more secure," it concludes.

The move has been welcomed by Jason Hart, vice president of Cloud Solutions at data encryption specialist SafeNet.

"It's great to see Google taking steps to increase the use of encryption. It's a smart move and one that's likely to have a significant impact on the way organisations secure their website," he said.

"Every company wants to rank favourably on Google, so it's in their best interest to ensure web pages are encrypted."

Featured Resources

Managing security risk and compliance in a challenging landscape

How key technology partners grow with your organisation

Download now

Evaluate your order-to-cash process

15 recommended metrics to benchmark your O2C operations

Download now

AI 360: Hold, fold, or double down?

How AI can benefit your business

Download now

Getting started with Azure Red Hat OpenShift

A developer’s guide to improving application building and deployment capabilities

Download now

Recommended

SonicWall hacked via zero-day flaw in remote access tools
Security

SonicWall hacked via zero-day flaw in remote access tools

25 Jan 2021
Best ransomware removal tools
ransomware

Best ransomware removal tools

22 Jan 2021
Gmail vs Outlook.com: Which one is better?
email providers

Gmail vs Outlook.com: Which one is better?

22 Jan 2021
Hackers publish over 4,000 files stolen from SEPA in ransomware attack
Security

Hackers publish over 4,000 files stolen from SEPA in ransomware attack

22 Jan 2021

Most Popular

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD
operating systems

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD

21 Jan 2021
WhatsApp could face €50 million GDPR fine
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

WhatsApp could face €50 million GDPR fine

25 Jan 2021
Trump pardons convicted ex-Google engineer Levandowski
intellectual property

Trump pardons convicted ex-Google engineer Levandowski

20 Jan 2021