Last to last year i.e. 2015 Google introduced HTTPS as a lightweight search signal in an attempt to raise awareness of online security issues and encourage more webmasters to get SSL certificates for their websites. The idea was to make the web a safer place by ensuring secure server connections and maximum privacy for online users. With this goal still in focus, Google decided to further improve online safety by allowing search engines to crawl HTTPS pages by default. As announced on Google Online Security blog earlier in December, the company is making a major step in enabling the HTTPS Everywhere idea to actually happen:
“Today we’d like to announce that we’re adjusting our indexing system to look for more HTTPS pages. Specifically, we’ll start crawling HTTPS equivalents of HTTP pages, even when the former are not linked to from any page.”
Unlike before, HTTPS pages will now have an actual boost in search and will be shown to users by default. What this means for webmasters is that they need to ensure they’ve implemented security certificates properly to provide the best possible experience for visitors and retain their search positions.
Google on moving to HTTPS [ FOR data privacy ]
With HTTPS becoming a more relevant search ranking factor, getting a SSL certificate and its proper implementation are a greater imperative for webmasters in 2017. As suggested by Google’s John Mueller, this might take some time (and money, too) to get right, but will eventually bring the necessary stability to the entire web world – one website at the time.