I have written, on several occasions, about how good I think that Google Search Console is.
I still can’t help calling it Webmaster Tools (a sign or my age…), but I really do think it is up there with Screaming Frog as an essential tool in any webmaster’s toolkit. If you are not using it now, put it on your to-do list and thank me later.
For today’s praise, I wanted to celebrate the launch of the https report. This was actually announced a while ago, but is now rolling out with vengeance and is available in all the accounts that I just checked.
There is no secret that https was added as a ranking factor back in 2014 and most sites are now served on https. There are, however, some relatively easy traps to fall into and accidentally publish content on http, even if you think that your whole site is served securely, e.g.:
- issues with the SSL certificate
- canonical tags that reference http URLs
- https pages that are redirect to http URLs
- old html sitemaps that still reference http URLs
- old robots.txt files that still reference http URLs
- assets (images / pdfs / CSS etc) still served on http URLs
Although you are very unlikely to be penalised if a handful of URLs on your domain are being served as http, it is good practice to avoid traps such as those outlined above. An expired SSL certificate represents a more serious threat, as all URLs would suddenly become insecure, so any help to identify potential https issues is welcome.
The new reports are available within the Page Experience section:
(image courtesy of Google Search Central Blog)
As you can see, the new report is very easy to use and should be a great help in diagnosing potential issues, so very much worthy of a quick check.
I know I keep saying it, but thank you Search Console – onwards and upwards.