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Deploy360 7 August 2014

Awesome News About HTTPS As A Ranking Signal, Google! Now Can We Please Get IPv6 And DNSSEC, Too?

Dan York
By Dan YorkDirector, Web Strategy & Project Lead, Open Standards Everywhere

Google logoThe big news hitting the online marketing world today is that Google has indicated that the use of HTTPS in your web site will potentially help your site rank better in Google’s search results. In other words, the use of a TLS (formerly “SSL”) certificate to encrypt the connection to your website will be one of the signals Google uses to rank results.  To be precise, here is the key part of the post:

For these reasons, 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. 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. 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.

Because you almost never get SEO advice directly from Google this was big news today.  And even though the post says that fewer than 1% of search engine queries will be helped today by enabling HTTPS, I’ve already seen a ton of associated articles from SEO consultants and others saying that you need to go enable TLS for your site today.  (Well, okay, to be honest the ones I’ve seen are all saying to go enable “SSL” but maybe some day we can get everyone to use “TLS”! On that note, kudos to Google for NOT using “SSL” in their article!)

I’m sure that many web hosting providers are similarly getting inquiries from customers today about how TLS can be enabled on their websites.

Naturally we’re pleased to see this news out of Google because the goal of our TLS for Applications area here on Deploy360 is to help people get TLS happening across their sites and services.  So to the degree that Google can help drive that deployment of TLS – and wind up getting the whole ecosystem of SEO consultants and marketing/PR people to help drive that deployment – we all win with a more secure Internet!

Of course, our thinking immediately jumps to the next step – what if Google were to say that having a site available over IPv6 would count as a ranking signal?  Several people on Twitter suggested exactly that today. Here’s one:

Can you imagine how many website owners might suddenly be asking their ISPs and hosting providers how to get IPv6?  (Tip to website owners/operators: check our our IPv6 resources targeted to you!)

Or… what if the fact that a web site’s domain was signed with DNSSEC counted as a ranking signal?

Can you imagine how many website owners might suddenly be trying to get their domains signed?  (Again, we’ve got you covered with some steps you can take.)

How about it, Google?  Please?   🙂

P.S. If you do want to get your site or network moved to IPv6 or DNSSEC, please check out our “Start Here” page to find resources focused on your type of organization or role.

 

 

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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