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.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

"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.

Advertisement - Article continues below

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

Digitally perfecting the supply chain

How new technologies are being leveraged to transform the manufacturing supply chain

Download now

Three keys to maximise application migration and modernisation success

Harness the benefits that modernised applications can offer

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

The 3 approaches of Breach and Attack Simulation technologies

A guide to the nuances of BAS, helping you stay one step ahead of cyber criminals

Download now


cloud computing

Google adds partners to real-time translation tools

8 Jan 2020

The IT Pro Products of the Year 2019: All the year’s best hardware

24 Dec 2019
search engine optimization (SEO)

Google is getting worse as it does more

21 Dec 2019
internet security

Avast and AVG extensions pulled from Chrome

19 Dec 2019

Most Popular

operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
mergers and acquisitions

Xerox to nominate directors to HP's board – reports

22 Jan 2020
Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020