Google is a security conscious company and by default all their sites are served over a more secure HTTPS connection that prevents nefarious people from looking at your traffic. Today, they have announced that they will begin to prioritize HTTPS websites when crawling them.
Google is constantly changing and updating their search algorithms. Last year, the search engine gave a boost to HTTPS sites when showing search results. Their web crawler will now begin looking for the HTTPS equivalent of HTTP sites. If two identical webpages have different schemes, Google will choose to index the more secure one when:
- 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.
Google advises website owners to begin redirecting HTTP sites to HTTPS for the benefit of other search engines. They hope that today’s move will increase security even when users are browsing over an insecure connection.