Google was originally given the nickname ‘backrub’, as the system checked backlinks to estimate the importance of a website site. Before long it was renamed, following a misspelling of the word ‘googol’, which is the number one followed by one hundred zeros. Now, it’s a household name. Recognised in countries around the world, and providing results for nearly 12 billion searches each month.
But with great power comes great…well, difficulty! It’s no secret that Google love to change their rules and mix things up, but who could blame them? Put up a wall, and it won’t be long until people are climbing over it, under it, and eventually just bulldozing it down. As a company that helps and manages lots of clients SEO and with the ‘rules’ of SEO changing regularly we always stay on top of all changes, as you can see from our previous blog posts and Twitter feed.
So last week we weren’t surprised to find that Google will be making more changes to how they rank websites. According to the BBC “Google has said it will give preference to more secure websites in its search rankings from now on”.
In a statement on their online security blog Google explain “Security is a top priority for Google. We invest a lot in making sure that our services use industry-leading security, like strong HTTPS encryption by default. That means that people using Search, Gmail and Drive, for example, automatically have a secure connection to Google”. They go on to explain that “Over the past few months we’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal”.
Here are Google’s tips to get started:
• Decide the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard 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
• Check out our Site move article for more guidelines on how to change your website’s address
• Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
• Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the no index robots meta tag
What does this mean to your business?
If you manage your SEO in-house, you need to ensure your SEO team are aware of this news and make the necessary changes so you don’t find yourself losing search rankings.
If your SEO is outsourced and managed by an agency, it is probably a good idea to confirm with them if they are recommending installing an SSL certificate! Like us, most SEO companies will keep on top of any news that could affect their SEO management. For the relatively low cost of an SSL certificate our recommendation will be to invest in one and get it installed ASAP.
If you have any concerns or questions please give us a call or get in touch via our site and we’ll be more than happy to talk to you about the changes and how we can help. Alternatively, you can find out more using the link below: