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Problem with Google reading HTTPS Homepage
301 redirect to https homepage
Rogs99



 
Msg#: 4624290 posted 5:31 pm on Nov 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi all,

In July, we changed our homepage to https via a 301 redirect from http (the only page on our site with https). Even though we have significantly increased backlinks to our homepage, we have had no change in search ranking.

Do we need to submit a new sitemap or update robots.txt file in order for google to correctly associate our https homepage with our site?

We noticed that our Google Webmasters Account is not showing us any stats for our homepage so we added a https GWA in order to track info to the homepage. The https account ONLY shows us stats for the homepage which gives the impression it is reading our homepage as a separate site than the rest of our site.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

phranque

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4624290 posted 6:44 am on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

welcome to WebmasterWorld, Rogs99!


are you redirecting all pages to https: or just the home page?
are you linking internally to https:?
are you using a link rel canonical element?

Rogs99



 
Msg#: 4624290 posted 10:28 am on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks a lot phranque!

To answer your questions:

1) Just the homepage is redirected to the homepage https.
2) The links on the site link to the http version of the homepage (and thus a redirect to the https)
3) I believe we have a 301 redirect from http to the https, but we may have link rel canonical from www.mysite.com to the http://mysite.com (without the www). Is there a way to rel canonical past the 301?

Any further advice would be really appreciated to help us understand if we did everything correctly!

[edited by: phranque at 4:45 am (utc) on Nov 26, 2013]
[edit reason] unlinked url [/edit]

Rogs99



 
Msg#: 4624290 posted 4:21 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hey phranque,

I just wanted to follow up to see if you had any other feedback based on the responses I gave above.

Really having trouble (and getting a lot of conflicting feedback) with figuring out the best thing to do here.

Thanks,
G

aakk9999

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4624290 posted 4:57 pm on Nov 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am a bit confused on what you actually expected to happen after you changed your home page to https? Your opening post says your ranking stayed the same.

With regards to the technical side, you have few issues and it should be better that they are fixed:

- Internally you should link to https version of the home page.
- When you are on https version of the page, all other internal links should point to http version of other pages (since only home page is on https)
- If you have a sitemap.xml, the sitemap should only have https version of the home page listed

You say you have canonical link element that specifies non-www version as being your canonical. Is the canonical link element used on your https version of the page? I.e. if you open https version of the home page and do View Source, do you see any canonical and if so what?

What I gather the canonical link element should be is to point to https non-www version of the site (e.g. to https://example.com/ )

I would also like to add - the title of the thread is "Problem with Google reading HTTPS Homepage". Do you know whether Google in fact has the problem? From your posts (ranking unchanged for 2 months) I would say Google reads it just fine. Have you checked your logs to see if the https home page is being crawled? If you do a search on Google that would normally bring your home page in SERPs, what URL do you see in Google SERPs, http or https version?

phranque

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4624290 posted 5:02 am on Nov 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

sorry, Rogs99 - i somehow missed your response.

the basics are simple:

- only internally link (whether navigation, in-content links, or sitemaps) to canonical urls.
(including canonical protocol and canonical hostname)
every. time.

- 301 redirect all requests for non-canonical urls to the canonical url.

- if you have a technology deficiency that prevents this best-practice solution, provide a link rel canonical element that refers to the canonical url. (using canonical protocol AND hostname)
then "cross your fingers" and hope google gets it right.
if you have everything working correctly in the first place the link rel canonical is redundant/irrelevant.

Rogs99



 
Msg#: 4624290 posted 2:23 pm on Nov 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

aakk9999 - thank you for your detailed response.

- We will internally link to https homepage on the site, as per your suggestion.
- All links on homepage https already link to non-https pages.
- We will update the sitemap to only include the https version of the homepage.
However, the sitemap is currently located at http://mysite.com/sitemap.xml. **Should the sitemap be located at https://mysite.com/sitemap.xml?

There are no canonical link elements when viewing the page source of the https homepage.

In google SERPS, we see the https version, so we know that google is indexing the homepage but we are concerned that it is not correctly linking up the https homepage with the rest of the site (due to the issues above)

[edited by: phranque at 3:31 am (utc) on Nov 28, 2013]
[edit reason] unlinked url [/edit]

Rogs99



 
Msg#: 4624290 posted 2:33 pm on Nov 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

To answer your question: I am a bit confused on what you actually expected to happen after you changed your home page to https? Your opening post says your ranking stayed the same.

Since July, we have been increasing quality back-links and publishing regular content and we have seen no increase (slight decrease) in our search results. This leads us to believe that something is not right with the integration of the new https homepage.

phranque

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4624290 posted 3:41 am on Nov 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

However, the sitemap is currently located at http://mysite.com/sitemap.xml. **Should the sitemap be located at https://mysite.com/sitemap.xml?

the sitemap for each hostname (protocol AND (sub)domain) should be located at that hostname.
http://example.com/sitemap.xml should only contain the urls that are served from the http://example.com/ hostname and https://example.com/sitemap.xml should only contain the urls that are served from the https://example.com/ hostname.

Rogs99



 
Msg#: 4624290 posted 1:52 pm on Nov 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

So we should have 2 sitemaps for the site?

One sitemap on http just listing the http pages (and since the homepage is on https then we should not include a http homepage on the sitemap?)

Another sitemap listed at https that includes only the 2 https pages on the site (homepage is under https and then our client log in is also under https)?

I just wanted to get a clear understanding on the above.

phranque

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4624290 posted 6:56 pm on Nov 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

So we should have 2 sitemaps for the site?


yes, but technically speaking that would be 1 sitemap per each of the 2 sites.
those are distinct virtual hosts.

Rogs99



 
Msg#: 4624290 posted 3:30 pm on Nov 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the feedback. I have been getting conflicting answers on these questions but all input is appreciated.

I don't know if there would be any benefit of adding a site map to just include our https home and another https log in. the https homepage links to all the http pages on the site.

Others have told me that we can just submit one sitemap at https, and the sitemap should just contain one version of all the pages (https if it is https and http if the page is http). Do you see any issue with executing this?

phranque

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4624290 posted 4:56 pm on Nov 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google will ignore all URLs in the sitemap that are not served from the same hostname as the sitemap itself.

Rogs99



 
Msg#: 4624290 posted 5:21 pm on Nov 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks very much for the advice on this phranque - much appreciated. I will check back in to update the thread once we make our changes and see some results.

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4624290 posted 11:09 pm on Nov 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google will ignore all URLs in the sitemap that are not served from the same hostname as the sitemap itself.

Does hostname mean host, narrowly, or host + protocol?

phranque

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4624290 posted 3:05 am on Nov 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

hostname in this context means everything up to the 3rd slash including the port specification.

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