Google favours websites with HTTPS security

11 August 2014

Google is beginning to favour secure websites, and is ranking them higher on its search engine as a result.

Google search ranking algorithms will now start taking into account whether websites have encrypted connections, using Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) as a ranking signal.

HTTPS means that interactions are encrypted so that cyber criminals are less likely to hack into your data. In a nutshell the certification protects against middle-man attacks or the wiretapping of websites.

Do you need HTTPS?

The obvious answer is ‘Couldn’t hurt’, as adding this level of protection to your website offers assurance to users that their information is safe, should they elect to part with it in enquiry forms for example.

HTTPS is particularly important in so-called transactional sites, such as ecommerce offers. Here credit card information is regularly given and so these sites are more often subject to attacks.

How do you get it?

Setting up HTTPS is relatively straightforward. Your web developer can arrange it for you and implementation happens in a matter of hours.

There are several bands of HTTPS security, ranging from straightforward HTTPS implementation right through to certificates where organisational checks are guaranteed (often found on financial organisation websites). And you’ll need to get the one that suits your security requirements.

What’s it cost?

Prices range from around 10 GBP to around 300 GBP, contingent on the level of desired security. Expect additional charges from your website provider though, as the certificate requires implementation.

Marc Rocca is Managing Director of Rocca.