Google uses over 200 factors to determine website relevancy, and now HTTPS has been thrown into the mix, with a rule that Google is calling “HTTPS Everywhere.”
From keyword relevance and backlinks to social shares and web page loading time, Google uses its ranking signals to determine which websites rise up and which fall in the search results. Some signals carry more weight than others, and Google has hinted that HTTPS may become stronger than it is now.
HTTPS Will Soon be Everywhere
HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure and is a communications protocol for secure communication over a computer network. Websites that use HTTPS transport data by means of the SSL/TSL protocol. These protocols encrypt data that is transported between a user and a website, and protect against common types of security breaches, such as man-in-the-middle attacks.
Earlier this year, Google called for worldwide adoption of HTTPS as the new web protocol standard. The search giant has long been a supporter of HTTPS, which is implemented by default for Gmail and Google Docs. Perhaps in an effort to further their agenda for a secure web, Google began testing HTTPS in their search ranking algorithms.
Tests were encouraging, so Google decided to go ahead and make the move.
HTTPS now plays a role in search rankings
Google states that “security is a top priority” and while currently HTTPS is only a “lightweight” signal that affects less than 1% of queries, “over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”