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
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags securitysocial mediainternetGooglesearch enginessocial networkingdata protectionencryptionInternet-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

Essentials

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?