Google and HTTPS

19th August 2014

Google’s ever-changing algorithm which determines the ranking of sites on its search engine looks set to prompt a change in the way that websites operate. In order to get a website to rank highly in a web search, an administrator can use lots of techniques to increase the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This includes using specific key words in your content or making sure the load time is as quick as possible. Google have recently announced that secure sites will be favoured over those without “secure” status, meaning that those wanting their websites on the first page of Google may have to invest time and money into increasing its security.

Safety First

This is quite a big statement from Google as it could encourage more companies and businesses to ramp up the protection on their users’ personal information. A site is identifiable as secure if the domain begins with https:// (as opposed to http://), and a small padlock is often displayed in your browser. User data is encrypted on secure sites meaning that should hackers try to steal this information they will be unable to decipher it even if they succeed.

Protect Yourself

At present, the security of a site will only have a small influence on search rankings, however this could change in time. In order to make your site secure you must do the following (taken from WebProNews):

  • - Decide the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard SSL certificate
  • - Use 2048-bit key certificates
  • - Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
  • - Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
  • - Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
  • - Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag

 

If you are unsure, do call us at 3Squared to ensure you have an SSL certificate on your website.

Google and Yahoo Work Together

Mainly in response to the NSA’s activity in private online information, a number of large tech companies have taken further steps to protect their users’ data. So much so that Google and their rivals Yahoo look to be teaming up in order to encrypt email data. Using a special encryption/key method they will look to create a watertight security on all of their emails. As it stands this could be very costly and difficult to achieve across the board. The intent is there however, and when big companies take steps to ensure security, the onus is on everybody else to follow suit.

While these extra measures may cause web developers and administrators extra headaches, they should put the average internet user’s mind at ease. Added protection can only be a good thing!