HTTPS as a ranking signal
Security is a top priority for people who exist on the web, however not everyone invests that priority into their own website or blog.
Google announced recently that they are constantly investing a lot of time, effort and money into making sure that the services they offer use industry-leading security, like strong HTTPS encryption by default.
That means that anyone using Search, Gmail and Google Drive, for example, automatically have a secure connection to Google.
In that announcement Google laid down the foundations of working to make the Internet safer across the board. A big part of that is making sure that websites people access from Google are secure.
Google announced at Google I/O a few months ago, that they are calling for “HTTPS everywhere” on the web.
Since this announcement more and more webmasters have begun adopting HTTPS (also known as HTTP over TLS, or Transport Layer Security), on their websites and blogs, which is extremely encouraging.
For these reasons, over the past few months Google have been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in their search ranking algorithms.
With extremely positive results, Google have starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now this signal is only a very lightweight signal, affecting fewer than 1% of global search queries, and carrying a lot less weight than other signals such as high-quality content — As with any new rollout from Google, webmasters have been given time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, this signal requirement may gather strength, because encouraging all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.
Secure Certificates can be purchased pretty much from any web host and are relatively inexpensive. The web host will install these certificates for you so no technical experience is needed to implement this requirement from Google. Once installed a website owner can then switch their complete website to HTTPS. One great way of doing this is via .htaccess and you can view my post here on how to secure your website with HTTPS with relative ease.