Most website owners are familiar with Google Search Console. It’s a free tool provided by Google to help you keep track of a website’s performance, errors, and indexing related to their Google search and Discover. Recently Google rolled out a new HTTPS report that helps website owners know if they have any issues with their SSL certificate on a URL basis, but apparently it’s causing some issues for many people in the form a specific error message.
‘HTTPS Not Evaluated’ Error Plagues Google Search Console After New HTTPS Report September Rollout
Around September 14, Google rolled out the new HTTPS reporting that is now included on the URL inspection page, which gives a more in depth look at any SSL certificate issues related to specific URLS. Technically this report has always existed and was part of search ranking algorithms, but it wasn’t part of the URL inspection report page. Now when you try indexing a page you might see an error that says “HTTPS is invalid and might prevent it from being Indexed”.
When you click on this error message it takes you to page, which gives you a more detailed look at the specific HTTPS error the URL is experiencing. The most common one website owners have been seeing is message saying “HTTPS not Evaluated” along with a question mark, which you can click to see Google’s documentation page with possible fixes. The problem is for the “HTTPS not Evaluated” error the possible reasons it occurs are very vague.
On Google’s official documentation page it says that error message can be caused by several things including, “the HTTP URL having no equivalent HTTPS URL, the HTTP and equivalent HTTPS URLs exist, but for some reason Google chose the HTTP version as canonical, Google encountered so many errors of any type that it has stopped processing queued URLs on your site, which leads to any remaining queued URLs being labeled as HTTPS not evaluated, there is a site-wide error preventing Google from evaluating the URL, Google has never seen the URL, or it has seen the URL but not crawled it yet”.
Based on complaints on tech forums around the internet for most people who have seen this error their website’s SSL certificate was completely valid with no issues according to SSL checking websites like ‘whynopadlock.com’. This raised the question of whether this a Google bug that needs to be fixed, or if there is really an issue. Most evidence points to this being a Google glitch, because most people with issue claim URLs with an “HTTPS not evaluated” error get indexed anyway. Additionally the error automatically reverts to normal “Page is Served over HTTPS” without any intervention after varying amount of time.
Essentially if you are experiencing this error in Google Search Console, and you used a SSL certificate checker to verify there are no actual issues then you have nothing to worry about. The error message may look scary, but in most cases it seems like a false positive, or Google’s crawler just hasn’t had a chance to evaluate your HTTPS response yet.
Google will likely push an update to fix the false error message in the near future with all the complaints surfacing around the internet.