Google is continuing its efforts to promote privacy in search by prioritizing indexing HTTPS pages over their HTTP equivalents.
In the announcement, Google explains its long-term aim is to eventually direct users to secure webpages with a private connection. The step to only index HTTPS pages when an HTTP equivalent exists is their most recent move in this process, following the small rankings boost given to HTTPS pages last year.
Unlike the change to Google’s algorithm in August 2014, this move will not have any effect on rankings. Instead, it simply means that Googlebot will only index the HTTPS version of a URL when both an HTTPS and HTTP version exist.
While Google’s commitment to secure search may lead to more rankings boosts for HTTPS pages in the future, this change is mostly to improve the efficiency of Google’s current indexing process. As they explain in their announcement:
“Browsing the web should be a private experience between the user and the website, and must not be subject to eavesdropping, man-in-the-middle attacks, or data modification. This is why we’ve been strongly promoting HTTPS everywhere.”