Google Encourages All Webmasters to Use HTTPS for Broader Security; Gives Secure Sites Ranking Boost
In an effort to tighten security and boost ranking signals, Google has encouraged all website owners to modify their sites from HTTP to HTTPS. The announcement was made by Zineb Ait Bahajji and Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analysts at Google.
Security has always been top priority for Google because they want to make sure that users are safely accessing sites. They have already created sources that will help webmasters prevent and fix security breaches on their sites, but they want do more than that. Since more webmasters are using HTTPS, Google is motivated to further improve their plan to keep everyone “safe on the web.”
HTTPS as a Ranking Signal
Google has seen positive results after running a few tests over the past few months, revealing whether sites use secure and encrypted connections as a signal in their search ranking algorithms. This led them to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. As they wait for other website owners to make the HTTPS switch, it is currently a “very lightweight signal” and affects less than 1% of global queries. Eventually, Google will strengthen this over time to ensure the security of everyone who uses the Internet.
Shifting from HTTP to HTTPS Concerns
Webmasters need not worry if they decide to secure their sites with HTTPS. While Google says that it will be safe to use HTTPS for years, there are proper steps to make sure that site traffic will not suffer from the change. Webmasters have to ensure that Google knows they’ve modified their site to HTTPS. Google will release more tips but have issued the following reminders:
- Decide the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate
- Use 2048-bit key certificates
- Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
- Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
- Check out our site move article for more guidelines on how to change your website’s address
- Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
- Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag.
Google says they would like to see more websites using HTTPS in the future. Additional questions and concerns about the shift to HTTPS can be found on Google Resources.
Will modifying sites from HTTP to HTTPS be an effective way to increase safety on the web? Let us know your opinions by adding your comments below.
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