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Has anyone moved back to http from https?

     
7:46 am on May 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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After migrating to https, I initially saw a boost to traffic, however within two weeks I saw a drop of about 20% . My largest site seems to have made the switch without issue, however all of my smaller sites have dropped in the serps.

Has anyone made the switch back to http?
9:59 am on May 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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How long has it been in total? You need to give it more than two weeks. The worst thing you can do is change back only to have to then face changing back all over again next year. Better to ride out the temporary pain.
10:25 am on May 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Agree with londrum. If there are problems, give it time. There's been some significant shifting in the SERP over the last couple weeks so a ranking drop probably has little to do with the protocol change.

There's no valid reason to go back to http and every reason to stay with https.

What Will Happen if I Don't Switch to HTTPS? [webmasterworld.com]
5:36 pm on May 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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A couple of years ago, when Google first started suggesting that moving to https be a ranking factor, I moved my (at that time) busiest site. It never recovered. I put it down to Google not fully transferring pagerank through the 301 redirect and I put moving the rest of my sites on hold.

It is now about 5 weeks since I moved nearly all of the rest of my sites and, after a near instant boost for about 2 weeks, they have all dropped back to lower than they were before with the exception of the largest site. Most of these sites are over 10 years old, and have been very stable in the results for a long time.

I just don't believe anything from Google anymore and feel annoyed with myself for taking action based on their advice. It seems to me that every move that I have ever made to follow Google's advice seems to cause a drop in the SERPS.

There's no valid reason to go back to http and every reason to stay with https.

Except that all of the big external links that the sites have built up over the years point to the non-https version - I'm not entirely sure that I believe Google's comment about this link juice is being transferred fully.
7:42 pm on May 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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A change in protocol will alert the g AI that something significant has occurred. I suspect special attention AND APPLICATION of ALL the farmyard and cartoon algos will be reapplied.

I also suspect that change in protocol will also compare a site against other sites running the same protocol and johnny-come-lately might not fare as well.

The web is going https. Are we at the tipping point where it counts against if you aren't there? Not yet, but coming soon.

Unless there is a compelling reason (logins, passwords, client/customer info, ecommerce and billing) http is probably okay for some time, but if any of the other is involved https is the way to go and sooner, not later.

But once you have made that change .... and seen the drop .... don't delude yourself that going back will make a difference. Not in the long run, or even the short term. Chasing rank and serp in terms of site turmoil (changing protocols, responsive/flat, etc) only marks a site as unstable, or in flux, and that will mark a site lower than anything else I can think of.
8:42 pm on May 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I didn't see any problem when switching to https. However, I did two things at once.

Most of my site content was in a sub domain (initially, I was supposed to develop several sub domains, but did only one). So, when I switched to https I moved all under the non-www domain.

(Http) Www . Mysite . Com => (Https) Mysite . Com
(Http) Forum . Mysite . Com => (Https) Mysite . Com / Forum

so for the second (the most of my content), I used the "change address" tool from the Google Search Console. Maybe this helps with the carrying of backlinks and other ranking data.

Also, I always read that it takes between 6 months to one year, for Google to update ranking things. So may be when some switch to https, this is the time to wait, to get all the benefits from the previous non-http data.

I think that switching back will only cause more mess / delays.
7:22 am on May 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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But once you have made that change .... and seen the drop .... don't delude yourself that going back will make a difference. Not in the long run, or even the short term. Chasing rank and serp in terms of site turmoil (changing protocols, responsive/flat, etc) only marks a site as unstable, or in flux, and that will mark a site lower than anything else I can think of.

That would certainly correlate with what I have seen over the years - Have Google ever confirmed or even hinted that making changes to a site marks it as unstable or in flux?

Most of my site content was in a sub domain (initially, I was supposed to develop several sub domains, but did only one). So, when I switched to https I moved all under the non-www domain.

I remember moving a site from a subdomain to www in the past and the results were entirely positive - it left me with the impression that Google didn't like subdomains and I have avoided them ever since. So maybe something else in play there.
7:28 pm on May 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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On my recommendation, I client of mine moved to https.
It has proved disastrous. The main kws have all lost their traffic and are now sitting at around 200 in the serps .While less competitive kws have been unaffected.
After 1 month, there is still no improvement, and now they want me to move the site back to http.
I can't blame them, though I am trying to hold them off.
I keep looking for other issues. Webmaster tools tells me there is no manual penalty, but having all those main kws ranking around 200 suggests to me, there is a penalty.
Would love to hear of cases of improvements in ranking after a small time, or successful migrations back to http.
8:36 pm on May 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I am sorry about those having lost traffic after switching to https. Personally I had no negative impact when I switched 1 year 1/2 ago. I didn't lost any traffic. My traffic is slightly up, but I don't think it has anything to do with the switch itself.

Now, for all those who report lost of traffic, maybe there are other factors. Like for example, it looks like Google did lot of "experimentations" since some months, and maybe your sites were impacted negatively by this. It's also possible that Google is giving more weight to response time of sites. Https is adding more latency, it can be neglected when your site run on a dedicated server and http/2, but if you are using shared hosting, may be this can be significant, if the server has a high load.

If you site has plenty of external files, (images, css, js) ,this can also increase the loading time, which might penalize your google ranking (honestly, I have no idea of the real impact, I just know it's one criteria among tons of others). For example, I know that the recommendation is to have CSS and JS in external files, to be cached, but after intensively experimentation I found out that (in my case), it's better if I include the CSS and JS into the page header. Using http/2 and gzip compression, it's adding only very few extra bytes and avoiding plenty of blocking network connections. I also lazy load all images.

Also, be sure that your SSL is configured correctly and in an optimal way. I test my site with [ssllabs.com...] (there are certainly other sites like that). It analyses your SSL connection and certs and reports if there are errors or things like that. Also, there are optimizations which can be done at the level of the web server (software), like removing some cypher algorithms which are not enough secure, or not longer used.
9:17 pm on May 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It is interesting that the larger site was not effected but your smaller ones were. I am unsure if to switch or not I think for now I might not based on this thread.
9:20 pm on May 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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About larger sites vs smaller ones. My theory is that switching requires some kind of recrawling / reindexing. And I assume that large sites are crawled and indexed at a higher frequency / priority than small ones. But it's only a guess.

My site is 5 years old, and has 300.000 pages of content (mostly a message board).
10:38 pm on May 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I looked at my experience at being perhaps a unfortunate coincidental one by losing some serps after migrating to https.
However, the http version of the pages kept the serps for nearly a week after migration, so it doesn't appear to me as a victim of Google's update.
It also passes [developers.google.com...] test 100/100
5:38 am on May 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I am in two minds about doing this, I am already suffering loss with adsense since April and I am thinking that this is not going to help earnings or search rankings. I am tempted to go https but too worried. If it's not broke then don't fix it? So will it effect or not what is the conclusion?
5:54 am on May 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@ Samsam1978 - it's not a matter of not broke don't fix it. If you want to stay relevant you have to switch to HTTPS.

What Will Happen if I Don't Switch to HTTPS? [webmasterworld.com]
11:35 pm on May 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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A site I worked on converted to full HTTPS about 1.5 years ago. It was a 12 year old site at the time and had over 200K indexed pages. We saw a very slight dip in rankings the first few days but then everything bounced back to previous levels. Other than that, we didn't see any significant negative impact. We went through an extensive planning process to ensure all previous URLs were redirected properly, and that there were no internal redirects or broken links after making the switch. If you've switched to HTTPS and had a negative impact, I would recommend looking up some of the SEO checklists for migrating to HTTPS to ensure you've followed all best practices. Here are a few good ones:
[moz.com...]
[aleydasolis.com...]
12:58 am on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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- Generic Steps to Switch from HTTP to HTTPS -


Read all info at your host concerning certificates & switching to HTTPS and when applicable, follow those instructions.

Install security certificate.

Have you host enable HTTPS (if needed.) This will enable access from both HTTP & HTTPS.

Go through site, page by page & make sure all file paths are relative (no protocol.) Test by accessing site using HTTPS and look for any browser alerts.

Install 301 code in .htaccess file
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on
RewriteRule ^ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]
Note: your server may require a different code

Go through site again, page by page, and test. Any remote absolute links will need to be HTTPS including those found in scripts & pluggins. If you publish Adsence or other advertising, links in these scripts need to be HTTPS also (or just remove the protocol altogether.)

Update sitemap.xml (if applicable) and submit to appropriate agencies (Google, Bing, Yandex, etc)

In Google Search Council create a new site using HTTPS (do not use the Change of Address form.) It will take a few days to start populating information. This is normal & traffic to old site (HTTP) will drop off accordingly.

Bing Webmaster Tools, Yandex & others should update automatically once they crawl your new pages. Updating/re-submitting sitemap.xml should speed up this process.
4:38 am on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Being a coward, I just installed https on my test site. If time goes by and nothing explodes, I will then move on to the real sites.

Yup, I spent much time poring over logs to ascertain that no, I really don't think I need a unique IP. (Besides, the test site has already got one--in IPv6--so why on earth should I pay for a unique IPv4?)
4:47 am on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Unique IP not needed. SNI is functional on your server and the older browsers that would bennefit are almost eradicated anyway.

Congratulations on taking the first step.
4:57 pm on May 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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SNI

Seneca Nation of Indians? Sensi language? Sanity Not Included? Ooh, I'll take that one.
:: proceeding to page 2 ::
Server Name Indication?
 

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