Google HTTPS

Google to rank most secure websites higher in index

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By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

August 8, 2014 | 3 min read

Google is to rank secure websites which adopt ‘HTTPS’ encryption measures higher in its search rankings as it looks to clamp down on cyber criminals exploiting insecure sites.

Uptake of HTTPS is expected to increase on this news

The decision will make web users less vulnerable to hackers and snoopers by encouraging websites to implement HTTPS encryption which scrambles data passing from media-viewing devices to online addresses.

Sites which have “HTTPS” web addresses, designated as secure by a padlock image in the browser’s search bar, will in time be raised in the search engine's rankings.

However, current uptake of HTTPS is less than one per cent of all websites although that is expected to grow.

Furthermore the browser, in a bid to increase security of its services earlier this year announced it will reward hackers who expose vulnerabilities in its systems.

Google's Webmaster trends analysts Zineb Ait Bahajji and Gary Illyes stated in a blog post: “Security is a top priority for Google. We invest a lot in making sure that our services use industry-leading security, like strong HTTPS encryption by default. That means that people using Search, Gmail and Drive, for example, automatically have a secure connection to Google.

“We’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal.”

"Previously organisations have shied away from encryption due to cost concerns or fears of slowing website response times.

The search engine giant, which uses ‘HTTPS’ security on its Gmail service, earlier this week exposed a man who was storing inappropriate images of children on his email account.

Google HTTPS

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