Google to Start Indexing HTTPS Pages by Default


Google since past few years has been updating its search algorithms to offer a more secure Web to users. The search engine giant earlier this year started giving preference to HTTPS websites in its search results. It has now announced that the web crawler will start searching for HTTPS versions of HTTP pages. Google has also explained on what basis it would choose which page if they both are identical.

Announced in company blog post on Thursday, Google said it is adjusting its indexing system to look for more HTTPS pages. The search giant will now choose to index the HTTPS URL of two identical pages if:

-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.

The Sundar Pichai-led company recommends website owners to start redirecting their HTTP site to HTTPS version by implementing the HSTS header on their server.

Google in February announced that it will give higher rankings to mobile-friendly websites in mobile search results. The company had started displaying mobile friendly labels for websites in mobile search results back in November last year.

Last year Google brought the encrypted HTTPS connection to Gmail to make users’ emails more secure on the Web. The company introduced the HTTPS encryption back in 2011 for its main search website.