Google Search may boost sites with encrypted data

It's been suggested this week that Google may be in talks to boost search results for websites that correctly implement encryption. This was hinted by the engineer at Google in charge of fighting spam in search results, Matt Cutts. Cutts is also a liaison between Google's search engine team and web developers letting them know how each change is being made to the algorithms in place as they are made.

Lucky for web designers, it would seem, the change isn't set to take place any time soon. Google has not made public any announcements as such. In any case, discussions appear to be in early stages, and we'll likely not see changes in Google site rankings for quite some time.

This change may be due to the recent uprising of the Heartbleed bug. On the other hand, given the relative length of time the bug was in place, and the fact that it was embedded in security code in the first place, it's difficult to know what will be best for websites hoping for real security in the future.

It's also possible that announcing such a change would encourage sites aiming for hits with spam to make the change first – though with encryption in place, such spam would be much harder to target to individual users. We must assume that Google would make such an announcement public rather than pushing implementation without notification.

VIA: Wall Street Journal