Secure Sites to Start Ranking Higher on Google

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Secure Sites to Start Ranking Higher on Google

Google have announced that sites which use HTTPS encryption are to begin ranking higher in Google searches. Although it’s only a small boost for now (affecting “fewer than 1% of global queries”), it seems that this is going to be a new direction for future ranking purposes.

Google have been in support of making the internet secure for some time, calling for ‘HTTPS Everywhere’ back in June, and while the first test of this algorithm does say it is “very lightweight”, the term “for now” is also used. It seems reasonable to assume that as part of Google’s continuing algorithm improvements we will also see secure sites begin to outperform unencrypted ones more and more.

What does this mean for your site?

Well, if you’re already using HTTPS encryption, this is only good news. Your site may begin to see better rankings, and with no work on your part, well done. If you aren’t using HTTPS however, it may be time to start looking into it.

The boost for now is still small, so there’s no need to panic and start moving everything across immediately. If you do decide to make the change, Google are trying to make it as easy as possible for you to do so without affecting your website’s performance. With tips on how to migrate your site, a step-by-step guide and a promise to publish more information on some site-moving best practices, Google are heavily encouraging a new, more secure internet.

For now, they have some basic tips:

  • 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
  • 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.

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