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Lost positions when change http to https

 12:02 am on Jul 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

According to the latest news on SEO I've read, Google is favoring sites that use https, so I bought a Godaddy SSL certificate for my web to run under https, however, just as googlebot indexed my site again, I lost all my rankings in the SERPS.
Is it possible that this change from http to https domain constitutes a change? How could haver lost my positions just to switch to https?

Some facts:
I used rel="canonical" pointing to https
I used htaccess to redirect entire site from http to https

Now i'm back to http waiting for some answers



 11:53 am on Jul 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

Did you use a header checker to make sure your 301 was setup properly?


 12:04 pm on Jul 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

Made some changes on my site recently that resulted in a great many 301 redirects and Google didn't seem to like that either. Seems to me like Google is treating sites like this as entirely new sites, making them start from scratch where rankings are concerned. Pages I made 8 years ago are ranking well but anything done in the last couple of years is buried.


 12:04 pm on Jul 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

Further to goodroi's question:

- How big is the site? I.e. how many URLs are now redirecting?

- How far ago have you made your changes?

- Has Google recrawled your old URLs to see that they are redirecting to https? If not, Google will have two URLs of each page until it recrawls the site and processes redirects

- I presume you are internally linking to https everywhere, and also that there is no mixture of secure and non-secure content on the page?


 12:13 pm on Jul 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

BTW, yes, I checked the headers and this is a site with millions of pages. I started a thread before doing this to see if the two-url scenario was going to be a problem. Didn't get much in the way of answers. Can't speak to the http vs https but I did have to check all internal links to make sure they're going to the right version of the URLS and that looks good. Change was made about 3 weeks ago now with site search showing about 400,000 new urls and just under 3 million old ones.

Mixed content issues is the main reason I haven't gone to https at this point yet and this experience is pretty much convincing me that if I tried it with a site this large, it will just invite another round of disaster.


 12:23 pm on Jul 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

welcome to WebmasterWorld, tacoro!

i would look for clues in GWT and also try "fetch as googlebot" to see how google sees your redirects.


 2:20 pm on Jul 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

I switched a couple of sites to all https several months ago - I think one of them was fine in a week, and the other one was closer to three weeks, but eventually they ended up where they were before. Didn't gain, didn't lose. Since the client isn't adding any content or improving them any, I don't think the https is going to help much, but it didn't hurt.


 1:50 pm on Jul 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

According to the latest news on SEO I've read, Google is favoring sites that use https, so I bought a Godaddy SSL certificate for my web to run under https.

Two questions:
1. Why would Google favor sites that use https?
2. What are the costs of an SSL certificate and other expenses needed to make the switch?

I'm not trying to suggest that Google is doing anything wrong, but am just wondering why there's a movement to https. I know it's supposed to be more secure, but are a lot of people doing it mainly for SEO purposes rather than security? And is it really needed for most individually-owned and operated sites?


 5:09 pm on Jul 19, 2014 (gmt 0)


Google is not currently favoring secure websites but this year Matt Cutts said if it was up to him he would give a ranking boost to them and he said it was an important trend.

Some SSL certificates are free, GoDaddy charges about $70 and some places charge much, much more.

Even without the comments from Google, there are privacy reasons and some customers prefer it so there is a general trend towards https. On your personal blog, there is less reason but if you are running a one person e-commerce startup site you should do it.


 5:54 pm on Jul 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm guessing Godaddy uses SNI for SSL. I would check for Googlebot&SNI compatibility/issues.

Mr Bo Jangles

 5:39 am on Jul 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Um, what sort of sites have "millions of pages" - it's beyond my comprehension. I suppose Wikipedia might be close...


 2:47 pm on Jul 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Um, what sort of sites have "millions of pages"

Certainly not your average blog site. Manta states on it's website...

"Manta has 30,028,781 companies under Companies in the United States"

Each one of those companies has its own page. My site is small in comparison.

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