Google search results could rank encrypted sites higher: Report

Google search results could rank encrypted sites higher: Report

Could Google be making another change to its famous search algorithm? For most websites, showing up early in Google's search results is critical, and it's possible that the company will be making some changes to the way it ranks sites, to give more visibility to the ones that use encryption.

A report in the Wall Street Journal states that at the SMX West marketing conference last month, Google engineer Matt Cutts said that Google is looking at this change as part of its drive to reduce spam in search results.

On Monday Google told IDG News service that it has nothing to announce at this time, however this news does not seem too unlikely. Google itself has already been using encryption for its own services such as Search, Maps, Calendar and Gmail for a while now.

Google users a large number of different factors to weight its search results - things like the number of incoming and outgoing links is just one part of the picture. Google has also been pushing to deliver more relevant results, and not link to so-called content farms and scrapers for a while now, but this might be the first time that its search results are also taking security into account.

Since the importance of appearing high in Google's results can't be overstated, this would also push the vast majority of websites to take security more seriously, something that it is becoming increasingly clear is overdue.

(Also see: Heartbleed bug: What you need to know)

With growing concern about hackers and government snooping around the world, both privacy and freedom of speech have been increasingly restricted, and any move from the major Web companies to increase users' safety is a good one.


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