Google, Google Cloud

Continuing with its drive to let you search a more secured web, Google has announced that its search algorithm has now started indexing HTTPS pages by default.

Announcing this, Google says,

Today we’d like to announce that we’re adjusting our indexing system to look for more HTTPS pages. Specifically, we’ll start crawling HTTPS equivalents of HTTP pages, even when the former are not linked to from any page.

So what does this new change exactly mean and how will it affect your search ? Well, in a nutshell, when two URLs from the same domain appear to have the same content but are served over different protocol schemes, Google will typically choose to index the HTTPS URL if the following preconditions are met:

  • 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.

As for affecting your search, it won’t. This will in fact make sure that you browse a more secured web and prevent you from malicious hackers and phishing attacks. HTTPS — as you might already be well aware — is a more secured form of the original HTTP protocol. It adds an additional security layer over the usual HTTP URL, to prevent users from falling prey to man-in-middle attacks or eavesdropping.

Google’s “HTTPS Everywhere” agenda gained some serious attention back in 2008, when the search giant announced that it had moved all of Gmail services to an HTTPS encrypted platform. Then more recently, by the end of 2014, Google announced that it had moved all of YouTube’s ads to a secured, HTTPS platform. Not so long ago, the search giant had also announced encrypting of almost all of the ads being served via its AdSense platform.


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