Websites that create safe, secure environments for visitors’ data are about to win the internet jackpot: better search results through Google.
Google announced today that it would factor in a site’s security when determining search rankings, Reuters reports.
That means sites that adopt a form of web encryption, known as HTTPS, that protects consumers’ data from hackers could see a boost in their search rankings though Google.
Although the security of a site will carry less weight in search rankings than say high-quality content, it’s likely a big enough change that developers will begin to implement more security protections.
Officials with Google said in a blog post on Wednesday that the move is just one way the company helped to make the Internet safer for users.
A number of high-profile data hacks have occurred in 2014. Just yesterday, it was reported that Russian hackers got their hands on more than 1.2 billion user names and passwords through 420,000 different websites.
“Hackers did not just target U.S. companies, they targeted any website they could get, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to very small websites,” Alex Holden, the founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security, which discovered the mega-sized hack said. “And most of these sites are still vulnerable.”