Google announced in the Webmaster Central Blog, websites that do not support HTTPS connections will very soon become less prominent in Google search results while those serving on HTTPS will receive a minor ranking boost.
Google takes into account the security of websites as a ranking factor in its search results. Google feels by testing whether websites support HTTPS, as a ranking factor, will improve the relevancy of the search results. As a result, websites that want to rank better in Google search results will now have to include HTTPS support if they are not doing it yet.
Google confirmed in the blog post, security is not a dominant factor in ranking of websites and affects not more than 1% of global queries. The quality of content in the website is still more important as a ranking factor as compared to security. However, Google also said over time it will continue to strengthen security as a ranking factor and encourage websites to shift from HTTP to HTTPS to ensure security on the web.
HTTPS is a term for unencrypted HTTP with a SSL/TLS certificate for security. To switch from HTTP to HTTPS you must obtain an SSL/TLS certificate from a certificate authority and install it on the relevant server. In the coming weeks Google will also be publishing a best practices list to make it easier for websites to adopt TLS. As of now, it has provided the following tips:
- Determine what kind of certificate you want- single, multi-domain or wildcard certification.
- Use 2048-bit key certificates
- Use relative URLs for resources on the same secure domain
- Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
- Read Google’s Site move article for more help on changing your website’s address
- Use robots.txt to avoid blocking your HTTPS site from crawling
- Let search engines index your pages whenever possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag.
Websites that are already serving on HTTPS can check the security level and configuration of the website with the Qualys Lab Tool.Google Now Giving Secure HTTPS/SSL Sites Ranking Benefit!,