Before I begin this blog, I will briefly explain the difference between HTTP and HTTPS for any readers not familiar with the terms…
HTTP stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol and is what transfers data between your browser and the website that you are trying to connect with. It commands web servers and browsers in terms of what actions they should take in response to various commands. By entering a URL in a browser, you send an HTTP command to the server which in turn transmits the web page you requested.
HTTPS, on the other hand, is a secure version of the above and means the data being sent between your browser and the server is encrypted. HTTPS is frequently used by websites which host online shopping and banking transactions due to its security. Google encourage HTTPS and have even started allocating a small ranking benefit to HTTPS sites over HTTP sites.
So why aren’t the majority of HTTPS URLs showing up on Google?
As I outlined in the title, recent Google analysis has shown that 80% of HTTPS URLs are not being recognised as HTTPS by the search engine and are instead being displayed as HTTP. This is not because Google don’t want them to be shown as HTTPS – they’re huge fans of the secure format – but because Google is not being informed of website’s HTTPS statuses. Gary Illyes, the Google Webmaster Trends Analyst who reported these results, said:
“More than 80% of the HTTPS URLs that are eligible for indexing (i.e. no crawl issues, no noindex, all’s good), can’t become canonical because website owners don’t tell us about them.”
It is up to you as a website owner to ensure Google are registering your URL correctly. There is a big chance that the webmaster could have configured your site in a way that makes Google recognise the URL as HTTP, when it is in fact HTTPS.
If your site works on HTTPS, make sure your URL is displayed correctly in order to profit from Google’s ranking favourability of HTTPS sites.
To discuss converting your site to HTTPS, or for help ensuring Google correctly recognises your URL, get in touch with The Click Hub today.