The search engine giant Google has recently announced that it will start giving priority to sites with encryption. The sites with ‘https’ (where ‘s’ stands for secure) will show up higher in Google search results. What does this announcement really mean for the end users as well as on the firms across the web?
END USERS –
The users who were earlier vulnerable of getting their accounts being hacked can now access information in a secured and protected environment. The move by the techie was taken so as to make Internet a safer place and encourage companies to move towards encryption. “We’ve also seen more and more webmasters adopting HTTPS (also known as HTTP over TLS, or Transport Layer Security), on their website, which is encouraging,” added Google. A HTTPS site will protect user data so that only the authorized parties have access to it. However, Google geared up its’ efforts due to last years’ revelations by the NSA contractor Edward Snowden. He revealed controversial snooping reports on the citizens by government agencies. This sparked off a global debate on cyber-security and privacy.
The primary aim thus, of this announcement was to embolden the HTTP sites to a more safe and secure HTTPS ones. This was done by digitally scrambling all the data when it passes between the user’s device and an online service. This would surely prevent hackers from eavesdropping on secret information.
FIRMS ACROSS THE WEB –
Webmasters listen when the Google says! So, it is in the best interest for companies to ensure that their web pages are encrypted. Since, each company wants to rank favorably on Google.
Earlier, there were sites that had complained about getting the sites encrypted as it added an additional burden on them so far as time and costs were concerned. Organizations used to fear that if their website response time will get slow if they resorted to encryption apart from incurring additional costs. But now, when high-speed encryption technologies are available at hand, cost and speed factors have become redundant.
In the midst of all this, Google still has stressed on the importance of high quality content when it comes to ranking of the website. “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,” further added the search engine giant. By this way, it is giving adequate time to the companies to switch over to HTTPS.
Zineb Ait Bahajji and Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analysts said, “If your website is already serving on HTTPS, you can test its security level and configuration with the Qualys Lab tool.”
By: Meenakshi Vashisht