Google to prioritise secure websites
Google users will find pages beginning with HTTPS higher in their searches soon
Google has said it will give preference to more secure websites in its search rankings from now on, the BBC reported.
The search engine has been testing highlighting pages that have HTTPS encryption by default, and will now roll out across its algorithms.
"Previously organisations have shied away from encryption due to cost concerns or fears of slowing website response times," said Jason Hart, of the data protection consultancy SafeNet.
"But there are now high-speed encryption technologies available that mean cost and speed need no longer be an issue. So there really is no excuse for any data to be transmitted or stored in plain text. Every company wants to rank favourably on Google, so it's in their best interest to ensure web pages are encrypted."
Google said that for the time being, whether a site was encrypted or not would not be a crucial factor in how they ranked sites.
"For now it's only a very lightweight signal, affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content, while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS," Google's Zineb Ait Bahajji and Gary Illyes said in the blog post.
"But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we'd like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web."