Here’s an interesting fact for you SEOs and Google enthusiasts. Did you know that 80% of the eligible HTTPS URLs aren’t being displayed in Google’s search results as HTTPS URLs, and are instead showing up as HTTP URLs, simply because of webmaster configuration? Yup, it’s all true, according to Gary Illyes, a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, who announced this interesting bit of news on Google+ this morning.
According to Gary, a small analysis at Google found that out of all the eligible HTTPS URLs to be displayed in their search results, 80% of them just aren’t displayed. Those HTTPS URLs that are eligble include URLs that don’t have any crawl issues or noindex tags, or any other problems. But since the webmaster themselves manually configured the site this way, Google was instructed to display the URL not as an HTTPS site, but as the less secure HTTP version.
Instead of using the HTTPS varieant, Gary said that the webmaster is using the HTTP variant in their sitemap files, in the rel-canonical and rel-alternate-hreflang elements.
A while back in the summer of last year, Google wanted webmasters to go HTTPS by giving them a small ranking benefit to HTTPS URLs. Even with this dangled carrot hanging in front of webmasters, there are a good number of them who hasn’t gone HTTPS yet.
Gary had this to say:
“If your site supports HTTPS, please do tell us: use HTTPS URLs everywhere so search engines can see them!”