Not Going to Rank Encrypted Websites Higher Says Bing

October 20, 2014 | By Editor 


Microsoft-owned Bing (previously known as Live or MSN Search)is in no hurry or rather has no plans to rank sites higher in its search page if they use HTTPS encryption, unlike its rival Google.

Google Encryption

No Rank Boost for Websites with HTTPS

  • Instead, the popular search engine Bing prefers to provide its searchers with whatever content they want, according to Vincent Wehren, senior program manager for Bing Webmaster Tools. Wehren’s remarks were reported by Search Engine Land from the Search Marketing Expo that took place in the first week of October this year.
  • HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. The communication protocol is a way to encrypt communications over a computer network. HTTPS provides an extra layer of security, in return for a slightly slower connection. Established in 1994, the protocol is widely used by mail services, social networking websites, and financial institutions.
  • While some websites only enable HTTPS during the login step, other sites such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter have turned on HTTPS on a site-wide basis. Websites using encryption will show “https” in their address bar and also display a closed padlock next to them.
  • In August of this year, tech giant Google began using HTTPS as a ranking signal urging its contemporaries to do the same. Google effectively penalized websites that do not offer encryption.
  • While, for now, the decision has impacted only 1 percent of search queries, Google said that it will bolster this ranking signal in the near future. The main idea is to encourage more businesses to adopt HTTPS for a secure communication over the Web.

The Story Behind Google’s Encryption

Google’s vigorous push for more HTTPS encryption may be linked to government surveillance. The decision could be the direct result following Snowden’s reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) had managed to spy communications to Google and Yahoo data centers.

In 2013, Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, said that the only solution to thwart snooping attempts by hackers and government is to encrypt everything. And most webmasters and a few rival search engines seem to agree the same.

Apparently, Bing does not seem to be interested in doing the same. The search engine is yet to grab hold of things happening over the Web and the importance of HTTPS encryption.

Its relatively smaller market share means that it has a very less sway over the direction of the Internet to start with.


Posted in HTTPS

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