Google has announced that they are interested in making the internet a safer place so they are going to start using HTTPS as a ranking signal. It isn’t going to be a big change at first, because it will be a light-weight signal affecting maybe 1% of global queries, but according to their blog this will change soon.
Whenever Google says they will be doing something like this, you know that your SEO will be affected eventually. Having a secure website is actually a very good idea, one that would be wise even if Google wasn’t in the picture at all. People who spend money or have their private information on the internet should be paying attention to security settings and site safety anyway.
People Like Secure Sites
Every time a new wave of news items comes up with stories about security breaches and changing passwords, your customers are going to be wondering how secure your site is. That’s just human nature. And if you think about it, every search engine in existence ultimately is designed to work with human nature to get the information that the human is looking for. People like secure sites, so it’s logical that a search engine interested in being the one people use will think about using security as a ranking signal.
There’s a good free tool at Qualys SSL Labs for evaluating your site. It will give you a deep analysis of the configuration of any SSL server on the public internet. Even if you are already using HTTPS, it’s a good idea to check once in a while. If you are not, it’s only a matter of time before your customers will want to know why you aren’t providing a secure site and how you will keep their information safe.