Google has recently dropped a minor bombshell – they will now be favouring websites which use an HTTPS encryption by boosting their search rankings in a bid to encourage all web masters to follow suit. The move has been made with the hopes of pushing out attackers, scammers and likes, overall, making the Internet safer and more secure for both web masters and users a-like.
In essence, if a website has HTTPS in front of its URL, for example, https://www., it means it has used an SSL – Secure Socket Layer – which relies on certificates to ensure the web browser is encrypted, making it less accessible to hackers and any other security breaches. In simpler terms, it is a safe and secure way of coding a website. It is recommended that any website which requires web masters and/or users to input passwords, banking details and any other personal details should be using HTTPS anyway.
By favouring the websites which do use HTTPS encrypted websites, Google is encouraging all other web masters to make the shift. While they are not giving these websites a major boost currently, they may do so in the future. In a bid to “keep everyone safe on the web” Google hopes everyone will eventually use HTTPS and are giving web masters the time to change over and have provided people with tips on how to do this. The tips are simple enough and it does seem as though the transition would indeed be smooth.
The tips are as follows:
- 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
Of course, in order to make sure your website does not suffer and lose any traffic it is probably best to follow the steps that Google has provided and watch them closely. They have also said they will publish more information in the next few weeks to ensure web masters have a smooth transition. Obviously it is in every company’s best interest to rank highly in Google so we will be interested to see how these changes progress over the next few month. We know we will be watching closely, what about you?