In the world of increasing your visibility on Google, sound advice is often hard to come by. That is why it is exciting when Google itself offers a tip on how to rank better in search results. In fact, Google recently revealed a great online tip that will not only improve your chances of ranking higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs) but also increase your overall site security and help make the Internet a safer place. In an initiative that Google has entitled, ”HTTPS Everywhere” – the company has revealed in this official Google blog post that ”we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal”.
This is a highly unusual move for Google in telling webmasters specifically how to rank higher in their search results. By adopting HTTPS (also known as HTTP over TLS, or Transport Layer Security, also accomplished with SSL certificates) on your website – you’ll be in a better position (literally) with Google.
If you aren’t familiar with the details of HTTPS via SSL – here are a few bullet points to get you up to speed:
SSL stands for: Secure Sockets Layer and is a security protocol designed to set up security in communications on the Internet;
eCommerce transactions have long required SSL certificates to secure credit card transactions and customer data (you can read more here about credit card processing security and PCI Compliance);
SSL hosting permits client-server applications to communicate via networks to prevent eavesdropping or tampering.
Although Google does admit that HTTPS is not a huge ranking factor at the moment: ”For now it’s only a very lightweight signal—affecting fewer than 1percent of global queries”, Google says. However the company is intending to strengthen this signal over time to encourage websites to adopt SSL and HTTPS as standard practices. That means websites who are HTTPS-ready now will benefit from any increase in this ranking signal in the future as well.
What this means for your website and your search engine rankings on Google: if you are not using HTTPS via SSL, be sure to switch over when possible. There is virtually no downside, and the upside is that your site, visitor data and search rankings will benefit. At 34SP.com you can easily select from a wide variety of SSL certificates ranging from a standard SSL certificate to extended validation certificates which command an even higher degree of scrutiny from our SSL certificate supplier.
For further information on securing your website and Google best practices you can refer to the Google Webmaster Tools page on how to Secure Your Site.