Google has begun favouring HTTPS encrypted websites over the past few months by increasing the ranking algorithm to web pages that are encrypted with the technology. Google believes the move will encourage website owners and developers to adopt HTTPS in order to increase the layers of protection on their websites.

“We hope to see more websites using HTTPS in the future,” Google said in a blog post, referring to the protocol for securing communications over digital networks. The use of HTTPS as a ranking signal is currently only affecting less than 1% of global searches and Google is using the incentive to encourage all website owners and developers to make the change from HTTP to HTTPS. This is seen by commentators as the ultimate incentive to website owners and developers to adopt higher levels of encryption on their websites.

The Wall Street Journal reported in April that Google executives were discussing taking encryption into account in web search rankings.