I have to build a website which should be accesible from newer browsers and from older browsers (IE5+!!!). And also, the website needs to have good SEO, and match the latest Google ranking rules.

The problem I am facing is that, if I add SSL to the website it will be unavailable on Windows XP SP2 and older versions.

If I will have both SSL and non-SSL versions it is good but not so good for SEO. So I started thinking about that: when user opens example.com, if it has a new browser is redirected to https://example.com, else it continues on the http website (will use canonical rel, too, to be SEO).

But there is a problem. What version of the website will Google index? If it indexes the http version, then it is bad because Google ranks-up https websites. If it will index https version, then it is good for SEO but all the visitors with older browser who coming from Google will see the SSL error.

At this time I am really confused what should I do.

Some questions I asked myself and searched about, but without success:

  • Is there any method to tell Google to use http for older browsers and https for newer browsers (as it is doing with its website…)?
  • How really will SSL affect my SEO ranking (a percent)?
  • Can I redirect SSL to non-SSL without a SSL certificate?
  • Can I have a self-signed certificate alongside my SSL certificate maybe to tell visitors to open the http version or something like that?
  • Why are you supporting such old browsers? IE 5 and IE 6 have less than 0.001% market share at this point. IE 7 has 0.008%. IE 8 is the oldest IE browser that has any significant users at all: 0.03%. IE 9 is also at 0.03%. IE 10 is at 0.08%. Most websites don't support any browser with less than 1% market share. Only IE 11 manages that at 1.88% Feb 9, 2018 at 10:07
  • Even if your site works in IE 5 and 6, I highly doubt that those users are going to be able to use Google Search at this point. Even Google isn't supporting such old browsers for search anymore. Feb 9, 2018 at 10:09
  • Thank you very much, @StephenOstermiller for your comment. Feb 9, 2018 at 13:16
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    I started to care about older browsers after I realized there are poor persons having a windows 98 system and dial-up connection, and there are persons who don't want to buy a new PC (because their old computer is still working). If we should care only about browsers with a minimum of 1% market share, I think it is not ok. There are lots of browsers having under 1% market share. So, while we don't care about these browsers, we don't care about over 24%. Feb 9, 2018 at 13:37
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    Google is supporting IE 5 :)) imgur.com/Jl8K7R6 Feb 9, 2018 at 13:40

1 Answer 1


Why do you even need it on such an old system? If you really do try Let's Encrypt for SSL on your SSLed site. For your non crawled site set User-agent: * Disallow: / in robots.txt in your root folder. Google has also indicated in 2014, according to this post, that there would be a "minor" rating increase. They have also said that if 2 ratings were the same the HTTPS boost may be a tiebreaker. I'm not sure about your SSL questions and no there does not appear to be a method to imform google to use different protocols to use http.

If you can you might want to make 2 sites (say your domain is example.com so you have example.com for new browsers and old.example.com for older systems)


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