Google says it has been testing changes to its search algorithms that will give secure, encrypted websites — as shown by HTTPS in their URL — ranking preference over those that do not. Google as a company prioritizes security, and as more and more webmasters are adopting HTTPS, the company hopes that this change will push more webmasters to do the same.
As of today, Google says that it is officially using HTTPS as ranking signal. But don’t get worried if you have a non-HTTPS site yet — Google says that it’s just a “lightweight” signal that won’t be carrying much importance quite yet. The change will only affect 1% of all global searches, and Google says that it wants to give webmasters time to switch.
For these reasons, over the past few months 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. For now it’s only a very lightweight signal—affecting fewer than 1% 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.
This news comes following the company pushing for “HTTPS Everywhere” at Google I/O, and you can find a video of that session below. If you want to get a head start on making sure your site is SEO optimized and ready for Google’s new algorithms, head over to the official announcement page.