Google will now give higher search rankings to websites that utilize HTTPS website encryption, the search engine announced early Thursday morning.
The new policy comes as part of an effort to push web developers toward establishing more secure practices, TechCrunch reports.
According to Google’s official blog, the new HTTPS ranking signal, will be relatively small, affecting less than one percent of global searches and carrying less weight than other signals such as content, but Google noted that it may strengthen the HTTPS ranking signal in the future.
However, Google will also be providing resources to help developers secure their sites. It will be publishing a series of articles in the upcoming weeks on how to make the transition, and it has also provided tools to test security.
Google has already taken steps to make its own services more secure in the last few years, such as introducing an encrypted search and setting an HTTPS connection as the default for Gmail. With this new development, it hopes to pressure other web developers to take this same approach.