Rolfe Winkler on the Wall Street Journal blog reports on “private conversations” that Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts has within Google about rewarding sites with higher rankings in the search results that have better security.
This is news that has come out of SMX West, as we covered just about a month ago with our story Ranking Benefit To Making Your Site SSL? Not Yet But Google’s Cutts Would Like To Make It Happen. But apparently, Cutts has been talking about this internally even more now, likely even more so since the OpenSSL exploit, Heartbleed.
Heartbleed was a huge security exploit impacting over a half a million web sites out there. It is known as a “catastrophic” bug that may be considered the most serious bug in the history of the web. With it, sites with sensitive data were like an open book to anyone who tried to use the loophole to acquire that data.
Cutts also has spoken in private conversations of Google’s interest in making the change, according to a person familiar with the matter. The person says Google’s internal discussions about encryption are still at an early stage and any change wouldn’t happen soon.
Google would not comment on this at this time, but as we know from the SMX West show, Matt Cutts himself said he would love to see Google reward web sites that deploy better security. Although back then, he said it was his personal opinion and not everyone within Google agreed with him at this point.
For more on that, see our story from last month.