July 29, 2016

Google Just Gave Another Reason to Switch to HTTPS


https

Google’s latest change in the way it looks for URLs on the Web may give small business owners one more reason to switch to HTTPS. In an effort to secure users from man-in-the-middle attacks or data modification while browsing the Web, Google has recently announced its adjusting its indexing system to look for more HTTPs pages.

In a recent announcement, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, Zineb Ait Bahajji said that the company is now going to index HTTPS pages first before the equivalent HTTP page. This means that even if you have an HTTP URL, Google will make indexing an equivalent HTTPS URL a priority.

In the same announcement, Bahajji explained that:

“Specifically, we’ll start crawling HTTPS equivalents of HTTP pages, even when the former are not linked to from any page, She further shared,”When two URLs from the same domain appear to have the same content but are served over different protocol schemes, we’ll typically choose to index the HTTPS URL 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”

HTTP or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, has, up until now, been the primary method for moving data around the Web. Of primary interest here is how data is transferred from a website to a browser requesting that data.

The trouble is that currently there are too many ways to hack into data being transferred in this way.

That’s not a problem if you’re streaming a video or looking at other Web content. But it’s a different story if the data being transferred is personal or financial information, for example in an online transaction on an eCommerce site.

Enter HTTPS or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure. First used primarily to safeguard eCommerce, banking and login pages, HTTPS encrypts data being sent either from a server to a website or vice versa to insure that data is secure.

Of course, there have been concerns that some HTTPS encryption may still be vulnerable to attack. But with fixes underway for most o these problems, HTTPS is still being touted as a safer option.

Google’s decision to index HTTPS URLs essentially by default gives small business owners with a Web presence one more reason t make the change.

Bahajji says that by making the change to show more HTTPS pages in search results, Google hopes reduce the risk of serchers browsing websites over insecure data connections.

HTTPS Photo via Shutterstock

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Jonha Richman


Jonha Richman Jonha Richman is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends covering apps, ecommerce and new business models. She draws on her 8-year background developing digital media strategies for tech companies and consumer goods companies. She contributes to other sites including Business Insider and Fast Company. You may connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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5 Reactions

  1. Like most things, the only way to get laggards to change is to increase the loss from not making the change. Savvy website owners are using HTTPS already because of the advantages above indexing.

  2. The problem with HTTPS though is that it sometimes gets blocked which means that your page will not load in some browsers.

  3. Secure browsing is getting more and more important and I think that indexing https urls with a priority is a Google move that we should have seen coming. Even though there might be some blocking problems it is the safer option.

  4. Let’s also consider the cost for a SSL website and now needing a web developer to assist. Currently, owning your ‘.com’ is convenient and accessible to owners without having to know the in’s-and-out’s of the internet. This is causing a major shift requiring they have a developer on their team, as well as being able to afford having a HTTPS website.

  5. I’ve tried using cloudflare and it was messing something up for me can’t remember what it was but I was trying to go there. Thanks great info.

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