co Check Those HTTPS URLs |

Did you see this Google+ post by Gary Illyes?

Here’s something for y’all web wranglers: please tell search engines about your HTTPS URLs!A recent, small scale analysis we ran showed that 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. They use the HTTP variant in their sitemap files, in the rel-canonical and rel-alternate-hreflang elements, even though the HTTPS variant works mighty fine.If your site supports HTTPS, please do tell us: use HTTPS URLs everywhere so search engines can see them!

It’s very important that you follow the right protocol when making the move from HTTP to HTTPS. Chris Palmer has written an excellent paper on How To Migrate To HTTPS if you need it. Remember that computers are programmed — they think the way they are designed to think. No matter how fancy the algorithm is, it’s still limited to what it is designed to do.

Security Makes a Difference in SEO

We’ve talked before about the way security, SEO, and Google are intertwined. All the little details behind the stuff people read may not be visible, but they affect the search engine results because the computer is limited to the algorithms it has been given. Your site is read by two kinds of reader: the computer crawling and categorizing the data and the human who is finds it online.

If your site has HTTPS URL issues, it will be affected in the search rankings even though it looks fine to the human reader. It’s a good idea to have your site audited regularly by expert eyes just so these maintenance issues can be identified and corrected. This is part of the cost of doing business online, and it is definitely worth the investment.

The fact that Gary Illyes has to remind webmasters to tell search engines about their HTTPS URLs tells me that it’s one of those things that anybody can miss. But the fact he goes to the trouble to give us this reminder says that it’s important.