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Having finally configured HTTPS for my company's website, I'm wondering now if there are any steps I can or should take to convince Google's search results to list the site as an HTTPS link rather than an HTTP link.

Is this merely a case of waiting for Google to trawl valid HTTPS links on its own and eventually realize the HTTPS address exists? Or is there some overt actions I should be taking, for example setting up redirects to force the issue?

  • Are you forcing https on your site by redirectly all the http to https? Or have you just setup it so your site works for either/or. – Zoredache Jul 18 '14 at 21:33
  • Have just set up for either, no forced redirects, at least not yet; if that's generally considered best-practice then I certainly could, but I've been keeping it simple for now. We do have a lot of clients running older versions of Internet Explorer, and for some reason IE 6 seems to fail to display our site when browsing via https, so I'm leery of outright forcing it. – keithzg Jul 18 '14 at 21:38
  • IE6? Ummmm... <Blinks> See, the answer is to tell your users not to do that. But I know damn well, that isn't always an option. You might need to debug why IE6 doesn't work with the redirect. Did you do the redirect using a meta tag or on the webserver? – MikeAWood Jul 19 '14 at 0:09
  • Most likely reason that IE6 fails to show the site is that you are using SHA-2 signature for the certificate, and IE6 does not support that. – Tero Kilkanen Jul 19 '14 at 1:59
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This is essentially just a normal matter of canonicalization. Using rel=canonical is good if you don't want to redirect. However, keep in mind that you can't use HSTS (which helps users to avoid even asking for the HTTP version) without really making sure that all of your traffic works with TLS/HTTPS.

For Google Webmaster Tools, make sure that you have verified ownership of the HTTPS version too. That way you'll get information on the indexed URL counts, about traffic from search, as well as warnings when Google recognizes something broken.

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Google can crawl https as well as http as long as your robots.txt has no restrictions on it, and you have links pointing to your https version listed somewhere publicly.

You can sign up for Google Webmaster Tools to manage and monitor it.

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