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Google Adds New HTTPS Report to Search Console

Google's new HTTPS report will help webmasters identify pages that are indexed as unsecured and help them identify why.

Google Adds New HTTPS Report to Search Console

Google has announced it will begin rolling out a new HTTPS report in Search Console.  The announcement came via Google’s Search Central Blog and indicated the search engine expects the launch process to take a few months.

“One of the common requests we heard from you was to provide more information regarding the HTTPS status of the site and make it easier to understand which pages are not served over HTTPS, and why not,” Google said in the blog.

This new report will show how many sites indexed URLs on your site are HTTP and how many are HTTPS. It is currently only available for domain properties and HTTPS URL-prefix sites.

HTTP and HTTPS protocols are similar, but HTTPS uses transport layer security (TLS) to encrypt and sign requests and responses, making it the more secure option.

HTTPS helps protect networks and users against website spoofers, eavesdroppers, and man-in-the-middle attacks. It does this by encrypting the connection between the user’s computer/device and the website being visited, thus ensuring the integrity of the information being sent.

Most Websites Already Using HTTPS

Currently, 95% of traffic across Google is encrypted. This number has seen a steady increase since 2014 when Google first announced it would be factored into search engine rankings.

The HTTPS report will also list the issues that prevent pages from being served as HTTPS. This generally happens for one of two reasons: either the page has an expired, invalid or missing SSL certificate, or it calls to non-secure third-party resources (e.g., images, CSS and Javascript).

Other errors that prevent from being served as HTTP could be caused by a canonical HTTP page, HTTPS pages with redirects, a sitemap directing bots to an HTTP page, and HTTPS URLs listed in the robots.txt file.

Report Will Help Identify Underperforming Pages, Improve UX

Digital marketers and search engine optimization professionals will find value in this new report, as HTTPS is a confirmed Google ranking signal.

By providing them with the ability to check a page’s HTTP/HTTPS status from Search Console, Google can help them address the issues that are causing the HTTPS URL indexing failure.

HTTPS protocols also provide a better user experience than their unsecured counterparts. Many browsers, including Chrome and Firefox, now use indicators to alert web surfers of unsecured websites.

The use of HTTPS is also included in Google’s Core Web Vitals, the set of metrics that measures UX in terms of loading speed, interactivity, intrusive interstitials, and visual stability.


Featured image: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

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Brian Frederick

An expert in all things digital marketing-related, Brian has been writing about SEO, social media, integrated campaigns and PPC for ...

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