After a recent ring of Russian hackers successfully captured over one billion online log-ins and passwords from users around the world, Google has decided to give a SEO boost to websites that use secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) protocols. On Wednesday, August 6, Google Webmaster Trend Analysts, Zineb Ait Bahajji and Gary Illyes, announced that Google would now include secure website encryption in its search algorithm.
This change is a major benefit to online users. Their information will now become more secure as companies change their websites to ensure all user’s information is secure. However, this could prove as an expense for website owners as they change their URLs to include the HTTPS protocols. By having a HTTPS URL a website is guaranteeing it uses Secure Socket Layers (SSL.) SSL are security protocols that encrypt any user’s information from potential hackers between the website and the search browser.
Google’s team has assured that this change will only affect a small number of websites explaining, "For now it's only a very lightweight signal -- affecting fewer than 1 percent of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content -- while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we'd like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web."
Our CEO, Josh Goodman is currently studying to effects this will have on our clients. We, along with the rest of the SEO community, are unsure of what this will mean long term but are interested to see what the effects will be.
“It will be interesting to see just how much of a game-changer this is. Google has made a change, but it remains to be seen just how much weight Google will actually assign to this. Right now, SSL and HTTPS are not heavily weighted according to Google, but they are encouraging more websites to secure their information and may increase the weight distribution over time. As a company that is constantly building and developing websites, we are studying the effects of this change very closely and how it will affect our clients. We are very interested to see how this will impact a website that does credit card transactions (i.e. - Ecommerce) versus one that is information/service based.”
If you have any questions about what this means for your website please call us at 310.526.7493.