Recently, Google revealed the act that safe websites imply a more secure and better internet on the whole, which means that the search engine giant will provide search preference to the sites rendering secure connection through HTTPS to their website visitors. So, it’s being speculated that HTTPS may also be a ranking indicator for Google search engine.
Google’s Official Response
In the Google’s recent blog post , the search engine giant mentioned – “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.”
This is an optimistic advancement for all professional hosting providers since this improvement in website security level can only be attained through the hosting platform. Not all the leading search engines actually provide such insight to the working of their ranking algorithms, but Google does that, which is beneficial to webmasters. However, nowhere it has been mentioned that the sites without HTTPS prefix would suffer from any ranking drops.
What Have the Leading Hosts Got to Say About This?
A strong indication from the search engine giant on security may lead to higher number of security services and products being provided through web hosts. When some web hosting providers were questioned on this initiative and the significance of security in their hosting operations, here’s what they had to say.
Dallas Kashuba, the Vice President and co-founder of DreamHost stated that they had always given more importance to security whenever they handled sensitive info and he believes that any site that sends and receives confidential details (such as e-commerce sites) that could help hackers identify a person or access his accounts should and must use HTTPS. “The best method to secure a website depends on the nature of that particular site” he added. Though the fundamental SSL certificates are sufficient for most of them, the difference between some encryption and zero encryption is vast. Talking about DreamHost’s security measures, he explained – “DreamHost has a team dedicated to ensuring the underlying server environment of every website we host is as secure as it can be.
That involves keeping system software up to date, continuously monitoring for suspicious behavior, proactively blocking common web-based attacks, and scanning for and identifying malware that has snuck in.”Daniel Foster, the technical director of 34SP.com commended Google’s decision to give preference to adoption of security of sites in the form of HTTPS as a part of its ranking algorithm. Google has done something really extraordinary for the improvement of the World Wide Web as a whole. He says that using HTTPS is recommended for any website sharing sensitive info. Expansion of this security measure to all sites will make sure that all details are encrypted in transmit.
He further stated – “I wouldn’t expect Google to penalise sites that use plain old HTTP but when comparing them to similar sites in order to determine search result rankings, if the sites would be matched but for HTTPS availability, clearly the secure site is going to be ranked higher.”Eric Carsrud, director of IT services and global operations of Verio stated that SSL offers a safe connection between the website and the user, though it doesn’t guarantee security of the database where sensitive info like customer credit card details are stored.
It may be secure to some extent to use SSL for protecting a website, but without proper website development to safeguard stored info it is equivalent to something like fixing a car alarm system but forgetting to lock it. So, he says there’s nothing to be surprised if the data is stolen even over HTTPS sites. And, the key to success lies in improving the overall security level of the hosting platform, and respective websites.
Should You Really Worry About It?
So, is this just another temporary buzz and would it become a “thing of the past” soon enough? Well, only time will tell, but as of now, it may not be a bad idea to consider an HTTPS version of your website, if you have the resources to get it. However, if you can’t get one easily, then you don’t really need to break a sweat, and lose your sleep worrying about any negative implications of not having the HTTPS version.