Need Secure Content?

When we launched our search engine for the first time in 2005, we knew we’d be doing a bunch of catch-up. One thing customers really wanted from us that Google and Yahoo! had was HTTPS search – that is, the ability to expose non-secure areas of Web sites which were largely secure. and (a campaign for secure internet usage in Germany) lead the way in requesting this feature. Once we had the resources to complete it, we got right to work and are happy to report that we got it done.


If you use the Internet for anything more than casual Web-surfing, you probably frequent at least a few secure sites.  E-mail and banking Web sites are just a few examples where HTTPS is used.  HTTPS is a protocol typically used by websites offering users a service, and keeps third parties from intercepting sensitive information, such as passwords and banking information.  However, there is still a lot of public information available on these sites – most notably, the login pages themselves.  It’s this public content that we are making available through MSN Search, so that users can better locate the services they need.


For example, suppose a US Bank customer wanted to do some online banking.  They may go to and search for US Bank Login.  The top result for this query is U.S. Bank Internet Banking – exactly what they were looking for!  Using this link, they can login and go about their business.  No private information is ever returned in the search results, just the public pages relevant to the query.  This is just the latest step in our ongoing effort to provide the most comprehensive index in the business.


As a friendly tip, if you are a site owner, please note that the HTTPS portion of your site is considered separately from a robots.txt perspective and requires its own robots.txt file.


We are constantly looking for more feedback about how to improve our engine – please keep sending them our way!  You can submit feedback using this link.


Brent Hands, Program Manager, Search