Dec 29, 2015 10:41:12 AM

Google Now Indexing HTTPS Over HTTP By Default

Posted by Nick Chasinov

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     Security is a top priority at Google. In 2014, Google announced a slight ranking boost to HTTPS URLs in the SERPs. Although the industry is divided if this really made a difference for SEO and is worth the investment, especially for large enterprise sites that require substantial effort to migrate to HTTPS. Check out this thread on Quora discussing why Amazon is not HTTPS. However, most agree that a more secure web is in the best interest for everyone.

     Last week Google announced they will be indexing HTTPS pages by default. Google's Webmaster Trends Analyst Zineb Ait Bahajji stated, "We’re excited about taking another step forward in making the web more secure. By showing users HTTPS pages in our search results, we’re hoping to decrease the risk for users to browse a website over an insecure connection and making themselves vulnerable to content injection attacks." The indexing protocol adjustments will start crawling HTTPS equivalents of HTTP pages, even if HTTPS pages are not linked to from any page, Google will look for them by default. Here are the rules that determine when the HTTPS version of the URL will be indexed by Google:

  • It doesn’t contain insecure dependencies
  • It isn’t blocked from crawling by robots.txt
  • It doesn’t redirect users to or through an insecure HTTP page
  • It doesn’t have a rel="canonical" link to the HTTP page
  • It doesn’t contain a noindex robots meta tag
  • It doesn’t have on-host outlinks to HTTP URLs
  • The sitemaps lists the HTTPS URL, or doesn’t list the HTTP version of the URL
  • The server has a valid TLS certificate.

     To make sure other search engines also crawl and index HTTPS URLs by default you can redirect your HTTP site to the HTTPS version and implement the HSTS header on your server. The next thing to worry about is HTTP/2 which is destined to substantially increase speed and security. Google's John Mueller recently hinted that Google will support the new protocol and that it could be ready by the end of the year. Considering page speed and security is clearly important to Google add that to your New Year's Resolution. For an inexpensive and high quality security certificate that is cross browser compatible we recommend this SSL certificate from AccuWeb.

     Stay tuned for some additional updates coming this week and let us know what you think in the comments below.



Topics: Website Analytics, Content Creation, SEO, Security, HTTPS, Indexing

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