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Just out of curiosity, I'm wondering whether search engines attempt to validate certificates and what is their trust store. Do they accept everything regardless of certificate's trust/validity or do they only take into account pages fetched over a trusted connection with a proper certificate from a reputable CA?

  • Do you mean when crawling? – techraf Jul 22 '16 at 2:05
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    Which search engines? I'd presume that most public search engine probably would either skip pages from untrusted roots or rank them down significantly. The reason being self signed or private CA are generally used by APIs and private sites, which is not really of interest to consumers of public search engines. But that's just my presumption. – Lie Ryan Jul 22 '16 at 2:06
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    That makes an easy answer: at least Google doesn't. It crawled my self-signed certificate-configured website and included in the the search results. If on the other hand the question was about ranking, there is probably no one to answer. – techraf Jul 22 '16 at 2:34
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    @techraf I believe users of Google Webmasters are warned about misconfigured/self-signed certs (see here). Also, it is a ranking signal at Google. – Jedi Jul 22 '16 at 4:05
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    @techraf from the first link Google tries to alert webmasters of this issue by sending a message via Webmaster Tools., so they do care about cert config. From the second link we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal... which kinda addresses your question: If on the other hand the question was about ranking, there is probably no one to answer. As of 2014, Google used it as a lightweight signal with plans to rely on it more significantly in the future. – Jedi Jul 22 '16 at 4:23
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An invalid certificate wouldn't stop search engine crawlers from indexing the dat from any website. However the Certificate configuration will have a significant impact on the ranking of the website in search results.

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    Do you have a citation for this, or is it merely something that you believe to be true? – a CVn Nov 26 '16 at 19:15
  • blog.teknicks.com/… – hax Nov 27 '16 at 17:24

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