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Over the summer, Google introduced plans to start giving preference to websites that use HTTPS encryption to try and incentivize good online security practices. PC World reports that Microsoft’s search rival, Bing, has no plans to follow suit with its own search algorithm.
Search Engine Land states that the comments came from Vincent Wehren – the Lead Program Manager for Bing Webmaster Tools at Search Marketing Expo, and he stated that Microsoft’s search engine currently does not intend to follow Google’s lead by rewarding encrypted websites, stating that the company wanted to “give searchers content they want”.
Search Engine Roundtable elaborated further on the comments, stating Wehren suggested that adding HTTPS to the mix would change the rankings with no ‘real relevancy factor’. The site went on to note that Bing seems to cope fine with encrypted websites, with the author noticing no changes in his Bing traffic when migrating to an HTTPS server.
Google first announced plans to give more weight to encrypted sites back in August this year, although initially it is said not to have too much impact. Google webmaster trend analysts Zineb Ait Bhaj and Gary Illyes wrote in a blog post that the impact is a ‘very lightweight’ metric and that it currently applies to around one percent of Google searches. They didn’t rule out making it a more decisive factor in future updates though, stating that “over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.”
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Author Alan Martin, ESET