Will Google Reward Secure Websites With Better Search Rankings?

Digital security padlock red imageIs Google considering giving websites that use strong encryption preferential placement in its search results?

Google’s Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts has hinted at this, having spoken about about such a move. Cutts was speaking at the SMX West conference in San Jose, California, when the topic of website hacking came up and he talked about Google’s response to it.

He said that rewarding secure websites would save Google time whenever a fresh security panic sweeps the Internet, according to Time magazine.

“We don’t have the time to maybe hold your hand and walk you through and show you exactly where it happened,” Cutts said.

Cutts has also spoken in private about this, the Wall Street Journal reported. Google has remained mute on the topic.

No one is expecting the change to happen anytime soon, however Google is throwing resources at Heartbleed, which is a much more immediate issue,

Google is one of the few outfits that had prior knowledge of the OpenSSL vulnerability, and now, almost a week later, it is still reacting to it.

In an update to its Online Security blog it suggested that some of its users should establish new encryption keys immediately.

“In light of new research on extracting keys using the Heartbleed bug, we are recommending that Google Compute Engine (GCE) customers create new keys for any affected SSL services. Google Search Appliance (GSA) customers should also consider creating new keys after patching their GSA,” it wrote yesterday.

“Engineers are working on a patch for the GSA, and the Google Enterprise Support Portal will be updated with the patch as soon as it is available.”

In March, following PRISM revelations, Google began to step up encryption of its services, and applied extra security to email, searches, and servers.

This article was originally published on the Inquirer.

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