As web hacks are now more prominent and wide-spread, companies feel that tighter security systems are becoming increasingly urgent. As a top priority Google Search intends to favour encrypted web pages in its ranking algorithm, in order to promote the need to keep user data safe. On their Online Security Blog the company highlight the transition process for this endeavour:
We’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now it's only a very lightweight signal—affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals (…) while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But 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.
Despite providing extra protection to prevent data leaking on Wi-Fi networks, sites have been reluctant to employ encryption as it can be expensive and create slower page response times. However, with Google’s move to serve encrypted pages at reasonable speeds, users will gain more confidence in this option for stronger online security.
For more information see Google’s report here.