Google has said it will give preference to more secure websites in its search rankings from now on. The search engine has been testing highlighting pages that have HTTPS encryption by default, and will now roll out across its algorithms. “We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal,” Google said. “Every company wants to rank favourably on Google, so it’s in their best interest to ensure web pages are encrypted.”
“For now it’s only a very lightweight signal – affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content – while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS,” Google’s Zineb Ait Bahajji and Gary Illyes said in the blog post.
In 2011, Google introduced HTTPS by default on its popular Gmail service.
Yahoo moved all its users’ data to secure servers in March 2014, and Facebook committed to secure browsing by default since July 2013.