Google has announced that, in a move aimed at promoting wide use of encryption on the web, the search engine will be altered to prefer websites that implement HTTPS to guard users’ security and privacy. According to company officials, sites that correctly use the transport layer security (TLS) protocol might see higher rankings in the search results than websites that transmit data in plaintext.
The move is designed to motivate websites to use HTTPS protections across their websites rather than only on login pages or not at all. Google officials stated in their blog post that sites that continue to distribute pages over unprotected HTTP could potentially see their search ranking taken by rivals that offer HTTPS. Facebook also appears to be cracking down and focusing on encryption as it is reportedly planning to acquire PrivateCore, a company that develops encryption software to validate and protect data stored on servers.
Gary Illyes and Zineb Ait Bahajji, two Google Webmaster Trends Analysts, reported that the search engine was one of the first websites to provide default, complete HTTPS protection across nearly all of its properties. Google also reportedly has several tools to help sites detect security breaches and recover from hacks.
TLS versus HTTP
TLS provides two distinct advantages over HTTP and non-encrypted Internet traffic. First, by encrypting the data as it travels between servers and end users, it prevents third parties who have the ability to monitor the connection from being able to tamper with or read the content. TLS also provides a means for cryptographically validating that a server belonging to Google or any other website is authentic and not a page designed to trick users.
What You Can Do
While Google stated that it will release detailed the most effective ways to make TLS adoption easier and to help webmasters to avoid making common mistakes, there are several basic tips that you can implement now for your law firm’s website:
– Use 2048-bit key certificates
– Decide the type of certificate you need: multi-domain, single, or wildcard
– Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain and protocol relative URLs for all other domains
– Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
– Stay away from the noindex robots meta tag
– Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible
Are You Ready to Get Ranking? We Can Help to Get Your Firm Noticed
We/Do/Seo is available to answer any questions you may have regarding the switch from HTTP to HTTPS. If you want to learn more about what this change can mean for you and your law firm or if you would like our help to update your website to comply with Google’s latest plan, please call today toll-free at (888) 317-3688 or submit the contact form on this page to discuss your firm’s website needs.