How Network Admins Can Turn Off Google HTTPS Secure

Oct 7, 2013 • 8:13 am | comments (9) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine
 

Google SSLAs you know, Google originally announced SSL search back in 2011 where it would impact "less than 10% of their users." Now, it is impacting over 90% of users and thus showing [notprovided] to webmasters and marketers about 90% of the time.

That being said, network administrators and ISPs can do something about it. You can force the non-SSL version of Google to your users. How?

As Jessica Schwartz from Google (no relation), said in a Google Web Search Help thread, "there is an option for No-SSL." She links to this page for schools that specifies the configuration change the network administrator needs to make to prevent SSL searches.

To utilize the no SSL option for your network, configure the DNS entry for www.google.com to be a CNAME for nosslsearch.google.com.

We will not serve SSL search results for requests that we receive on this VIP. If we receive a search request over port 443, the certificate handshake will complete successfully, but we will then redirect the user to a non-SSL search experience. The first time a user is redirected, they will be shown a notice that SSL has been disabled by the network administrator.

Customization and personalization is dependent on SSL availability, thus some features may be affected. Utilizing the NoSSLSearch VIP will not affect other Google services outside of Search. Logging into Google Apps and authenticating to different services will continue to work (and will occur over SSL).

I see no reason why this has to apply just to schools. You can probably do this at your home and your company. And I am sure ISPs can do this as well. Will it happen? Nah, but we can dream.

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

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Comments:

Olivier Duffez (WebRankInfo)

10/07/2013 12:40 pm

I'm not sure if this would bring back the query parameter

Daniel L Sanchez

10/07/2013 01:35 pm

I'm definitely not seeing many people going through this trouble. If anything I think it should be applied at the ISP level.

Bobby

10/07/2013 02:47 pm

Pretty sure most people won't care if their experience is in http or https. That being said, as soon as Google throws that little pop saying SSL has been turned off by the network admin, conversion rate would plummet and bounce rate would skyrocket.

Sean Ruiz

10/07/2013 07:17 pm

You can test this on your own computer by editing your "host" file. How you do that depends on your operating system. What you'll want to do is map the IP address of nosslsearch.google.com (current: 216.239.32.20) to the hostname of Google (www.google.com). On a different note: it seems that most search marketers don't understand that Google is explicitly removing the HTTP referers [sic]. This means that: there is nothing inherit to HTTPS, regarding removing HTTP referers [sic]; it's all on Google. The choice to change things over to HTTPS and simultaneously remove HTTP referers [sic] was coincidental. In other words: HTTPS is not stripping the HTTP referers [sic], Google is. They're doing it via JavaScript for JavaScript enabled browsers, and via doorway pages for users without JavaScript. I'll blog about this in more detail, maybe later...

Drew

10/08/2013 11:19 am

Doesn't bring back the query parameter, because as Sean below says, the choice between HTTP and HTTPS has nothing to do with the query parameter being stripped. Google has successfully hoodwinked most people into thinking the two are connected, but they could just as well strip out the referrer on HTTP.

Graciousstore

10/09/2013 05:00 am

I share your view about people's response to the SSL issue

Little K

11/14/2013 02:38 pm

It's currently happening not by ISPs but by Government! Yes its Iran! no ssl search, lots of feedback and posts to google but they forced me to change my default search engine to duckduckgo!

Yashar

11/20/2013 06:03 pm

Thanks to google, now every single search query that passes in my god damn country, Iran, can be sniffed by the government... -_-

reza

12/23/2013 04:47 pm

go to install_PATH\Mozilla Firefox\browser\searchplugins and open up google.xml and then replace "www.google" with "encrypted.google". easy?

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