Google said to be eyeing a boost to encrypted sites in search results

The move, in early discussions, would add a layer of security for Web users

Websites that use encryption could be elevated in Google search results sometime in the future, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The algorithm change was hinted at by Matt Cutts, a top Google engineer, at the SMX West marketing conference last month the report said. Cutts is in charge of combating spam in search results and acts as the liaison between Google's search team and website designers who track changes made to Google's search algorithms.

Some early-stage internal discussions at Google have also taken place on incorporating encryption into Google's search algorithm rankings, the report said. The move would add a layer of security for Web users, while also giving companies an incentive to prioritize encrypting data.

"We have nothing to announce at this time," a Google spokeswoman told the IDG News Service.

Google's algorithms incorporate a range of signals that determine search-result prominence. Placing encrypted sites higher in the mix would serve as a signal of its own on the importance of security, amid concerns over cyberattacks and government surveillance.

Google has used HTTPS encryption, which is designed to cloak traffic flowing between its data centers and users, for services such as Gmail and Search for some time now.

The elevated rankings could help drive more people to those sites and keep their data secure, if the encryption is effective. Flaws recently discovered in the OpenSSL protocol, a major encryption method across the Web, have shown that some established security safeguards are not rock solid.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediainternetGooglesearch enginessocial networkingdata protectionInternet-based applications and servicesDesktop security

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?