Google is looking at giving more prominent search rankings to websites that use encryption to promote better online security practices, according to reports.
The Wall Street Journal says that Google is giving bonus points in its ranking algorithm to web pages that are encrypted.
It says that Google hopes the move will prod developers to adopt technology that protects against hackers.
“We hope to see more websites using HTTPS in the future,” Google said in a blogpost, referring to the protocol for securing communications over digital networks.
The move is designed to spur developers to implement Transport Layer Security, which uses a digital certificate to encrypt traffic – signified by a padlock in most browsers and “https” at the beginning of a URL.
Google told the WSJ that it had begun favouring encrypted sites over the past few months.
Google said that up until now, it had been a “lightweight” signal, affecting less than one per cent of global searches, but it planned to boost the weighting over time.