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http to https

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Hi guys! I haven't posted for quite a while and I hope everyone is doing well.

Right to the point.

I have never tried to switch a site to https from http. I would assume that all ranking urls or all urls with links pointing to them should be 301 ed?

A "friend" of mine just did this as a knee jerk reaction to a site that once ranked well, and is now receiving half of the traffic it used to. Which is still quite a bit, 60 k per month not sure if these are uniques. 

She wouldn't know a re-direct if it hit her over the head.

Am I correct in thinking she is about to tank her rankings?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

 

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SEMrush

  • A redirect is required.
  • Changing any part of a URL is creating broken internal and external links.
  • A ranked page with an abandon URL (ex: http) will eventually be deindexed on Google SERPs. Google will not index/rank an entire site of 404 pages.
  • Switching from http to https is a gamble when those pages are already ranked. No guarantees you'll hold rank after a 301, even If Google sugarcoats it on their webmaster help pages.

 

From what I've read (OP), she will eventually deindex the entire site and at the same time start indexing the entire site as https. That does not mean she'll ever rank a page as https, she won't without the old followed backlinks being redirected to the currently ranked pages.

No offense but this is what happens when noobs read stuff online. They think because someone else wrote a blog post or forum comment that they can simply make a change (a drastic change) and it will help them somehow whether that's SEO or security. In this case they might as well stopped paying their host fees and delete the site. Even direct traffic (links) would be served 404 pages without having 301s setup.

Google considers an http > https as a site move, more info. below.

 

Migrating from HTTP to HTTPS

Quote

 

If you migrate your site from HTTP to HTTPS, Google treats this as a site move with a URL change. This can temporarily affect some of your traffic numbers. See the site move overview page to learn more.

Add the HTTPS property to Search Console; Search Console treats HTTP and HTTPS separately; data for these properties is not shared in Search Console. So if you have pages in both protocols, you must have a separate Search Console property for each one.

 

 

Don't take that Google line about temporally affecting traffic numbers lightly. Google assumes the webmaster has 301s working correctly.

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Thanks Yukon,

You said it all with more depth than I ever could.

It just stands to reason that links pointing to a  http are not pointing to a link with https, this is just logic.

14 hours ago, yukon said:
  • No offense but this is what happens when noobs read stuff online. They think because someone else wrote a blog post or forum comment that they can simply make a change (a drastic change) and it will help them somehow whether that's SEO or security. In this case they might as well stopped paying their host fees and delete the site. Even direct traffic (links) would be served 404 pages without having 301s setup.

 

I asked her why the hell she did it, and her response was "cause google told me to". I could not believe it.

 

I told her her ranking was dropping because she has lost links. To no avail. What a mess.

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Just make sure when she does come to her senses and gets the redirect done, that it is not just a blanket URL to the home page. I've seen people do that too.

hxxp://herdomain.com/internal-page-1

needs to redirect to

hxxps://herdomain.com/internal-page-1

 

hxxp://herdomain.com/internal-page-2

needs to redirect to

hxxps://herdomian.com/internal-page-2

 

and so on...

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3 hours ago, Mike Friedman said:

Just make sure when she does come to her senses and gets the redirect done, that it is not just a blanket URL to the home page. I've seen people do that too.

hxxp://herdomain.com/internal-page-1

needs to redirect to

hxxps://herdomain.com/internal-page-1

 

hxxp://herdomain.com/internal-page-2

needs to redirect to

hxxps://herdomian.com/internal-page-2

 

and so on...

potentially stupid question related to the above:

so you buy an expired domain that has whatever, 100 links to it, do you now have to create a page for each of those links or ?

 

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1 hour ago, gnojham said:

potentially stupid question related to the above:

so you buy an expired domain that has whatever, 100 links to it, do you now have to create a page for each of those links or ?

1

If the links were pointing to 100 different pages, then you need to do something. You either create those pages again or you 301 redirect them elsewhere. I'm not a fan of massive redirects on a new site.

And honestly, unless the domain was amazing and had a lot of great links pointing to the home page, I would not buy a domain where the links are spread out across 100 pages like that for that very reason.

 

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3 hours ago, Mike Friedman said:

If the links were pointing to 100 different pages, then you need to do something. You either create those pages again or you 301 redirect them elsewhere. I'm not a fan of massive redirects on a new site.

And honestly, unless the domain was amazing and had a lot of great links pointing to the home page, I would not buy a domain where the links are spread out across 100 pages like that for that very reason.

 

thanks

another possibly stupid question:

is there a way to blanket redirect all links at once to avoid having to make a bunch of content and redirects? 

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10 minutes ago, gnojham said:

thanks

another possibly stupid question:

is there a way to blanket redirect all links at once to avoid having to make a bunch of content and redirects? 

You can 301 redirect everything to the home page, but that is a terrible idea.

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Is it possible to reverse the https?

She did this on Friday, the https version of the site is up and indexed. I don't know if every URL is though.

This is a fairly big site so 301's will be a bitch. She is already asking me how much I will charge her to fix it. There has to be 300 posts on this site.

Any plugin that can do this properly? It is wordpress.

 

Now on to more fun stuff. What a clusterf**k this is! It is comical.

When I told her she is about to tank her whole fing site, she contacted her web designer, who then spoke to his companies SEO guy, who told her not to worry about it because everything will automatically be re-directed.

I told her that they need to fire this f**ktard immediately,  and give me his job.He has no business calling himself an SEO. I can't believe guys like this actually have good paying jobs at supposed reputable web firms.

 

Thanks for all the info so far guys!

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I don't get the rant about mass redirects. It works and it's what some normal sites do.

One real example, make up a fake URL for coleman.com, they all redirect to the Home page. 

 

 

I'm not saying a mass redirect is for every single situation, but there's no way it's wrong as a blanket statement either.

Personally, I can't stand 404s from a traffic POV.

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25 minutes ago, dons said:

Now on to more fun stuff. What a clusterf**k this is! It is comical.

When I told her she is about to tank her whole fing site, she contacted her web designer, who then spoke to his companies SEO guy, who told her not to worry about it because everything will automatically be re-directed.

I told her that they need to fire this f**ktard immediately,  and give me his job.He has no business calling himself an SEO. I can't believe guys like this actually have good paying jobs at supposed reputable web firms.

 

 

This is more common than most folks realize.

A few years ago my brother worked for an offline business that did TV commercials (Lowes, etc...). The guy that owned the business would never turn away work, so, he started selling SEO. Small business, a Video editor and a web designer. The web designer guy was their SEO, he hated SEO (lol) he just wanted to be a web designer. Anyways, they never ranked anything even for their own site, they used Adwords (no SEO). They still sold SEO all day long If anyone wanted to buy it, they even advertise they sell SEO.

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11 hours ago, gnojham said:

thanks

another possibly stupid question:

is there a way to blanket redirect all links at once to avoid having to make a bunch of content and redirects? 

Do this in htaccess or httpd.conf (assuming you're running Apache):

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]

This is a site wide redirect to https that avoids the need to do individual page redirects. It preserves the the complete URI to every page so no broken internal links (unless they already existed). It does NOT redirect everything to the main page...

The only reason you'd do individual page redirects is if you're changing the page name or eliminating it altogether (then you can 301 it to a different page or home page). 

There are countless variations on this to fit practically any given situation, so it's worth taking some time to learn more about the various redirect schema you can take advantage of. 

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4 hours ago, BIG Mike said:

Do this in htaccess or httpd.conf (assuming you're running Apache):


RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]

This is a site wide redirect to https that avoids the need to do individual page redirects. It preserves the the complete URI to every page so no broken internal links (unless they already existed). It does NOT redirect everything to the main page...

The only reason you'd do individual page redirects is if you're changing the page name or eliminating it altogether (then you can 301 it to a different page or home page). 

There are countless variations on this to fit practically any given situation, so it's worth taking some time to learn more about the various redirect schema you can take advantage of. 

thanks

im not currently doing any of this, just asking questions for info, but can this be applied selectively? lets say i buy an expired domain that has 100 backlinks. 10 of them are great that i want to build content for them, the other 90 i just want to point at the homepage (or some other page).

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6 hours ago, gnojham said:

thanks

im not currently doing any of this, just asking questions for info, but can this be applied selectively? lets say i buy an expired domain that has 100 backlinks. 10 of them are great that i want to build content for them, the other 90 i just want to point at the homepage (or some other page).

In this case, you individually redirect the pages you're keeping and redirect everything else to the homepage - so you end up with 10 individual redirects and one global one to handle the remaining 90 pages. 

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1 hour ago, BIG Mike said:

In this case, you individually redirect the pages you're keeping and redirect everything else to the homepage - so you end up with 10 individual redirects and one global one to handle the remaining 90 pages. 

Right, but it looks like you have a wild card in there right? I didn't know if it took precedence. 

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8 hours ago, gnojham said:

Right, but it looks like you have a wild card in there right? I didn't know if it took precedence. 

Each RewriteRule is executed in the order it appears in the list - by using the [L] flag at the end of each rule, it tells the RewriteEngine to stop processing any further rules if that one was matched. 

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off

RewriteRule URL1 Rewrite [L,R=301]
RewriteRule URL2 Rewrite [L,R=301]
RewriteRule URL3 Rewrite [L,R=301]
RewriteRule URL4 Rewrite [L,R=301]
RewriteRule URL5 Rewrite [L,R=301]
.....
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]

So in the case above, if URL3 was rewritten, then then all Rewrite Engine processing stops. 

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On October 31, 2017 at 6:33 AM, BIG Mike said:

Do this in htaccess or httpd.conf (assuming you're running Apache):


RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]

This is a site wide redirect to https that avoids the need to do individual page redirects. It preserves the the complete URI to every page so no broken internal links (unless they already existed). It does NOT redirect everything to the main page...

The only reason you'd do individual page redirects is if you're changing the page name or eliminating it altogether (then you can 301 it to a different page or home page). 

There are countless variations on this to fit practically any given situation, so it's worth taking some time to learn more about the various redirect schema you can take advantage of. 

 

Mike, 

If I am understanding this correctly(keep in mind I am scared of messing with the htaccess file), I can cut and paste this and it will 301 all http urls to https? 

So http:/&$^%&this.com/is-this-a-redirect 

becomes

https:/&$^%&this.com/is-this-a-redirect 

for all posts/pages site wide?

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On October 30, 2017 at 10:48 PM, yukon said:

 

This is more common than most folks realize.

A few years ago my brother worked for an offline business that did TV commercials (Lowes, etc...). The guy that owned the business would never turn away work, so, he started selling SEO. Small business, a Video editor and a web designer. The web designer guy was their SEO, he hated SEO (lol) he just wanted to be a web designer. Anyways, they never ranked anything even for their own site, they used Adwords (no SEO). They still sold SEO all day long If anyone wanted to buy it, they even advertise they sell SEO.

I guess if the client pays enough you could sell PPC management as SEO, if they don't know the difference. But most clients I have had know enough to check rankings for their money phrases. I never even considered it. I was taught to be hones and have been my whole life, maybe that has been where I went wrong!

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1 hour ago, dons said:

Mike, 

If I am understanding this correctly(keep in mind I am scared of messing with the htaccess file), I can cut and paste this and it will 301 all http urls to https? 

So http:/&$^%&this.com/is-this-a-redirect 

becomes

https:/&$^%&this.com/is-this-a-redirect 

for all posts/pages site wide?

Yes, that's correct - I am making a couple of assumptions about how your server is configured, so if it doesn't work, you may need to contact your host for additional info. 

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10 hours ago, dons said:

I guess if the client pays enough you could sell PPC management as SEO, if they don't know the difference. But most clients I have had know enough to check rankings for their money phrases. I never even considered it. I was taught to be hones and have been my whole life, maybe that has been where I went wrong!

 

Right, but a large percentage of people selling SEO don't actually know how to rank pages. That's just the reality of the industry. Even the best SEO takes time to rank pages, that's a fact so a buyer doesn't have any choice but to buy SEO from someone. If a person knew SEO there's a good chance they wouldn't be buying SEO to begin with.

Then you have folks selling SEO that mislead noobs/buyers into silly schemes, example, anywhere on page one in the SERPs is great (wrong) position #9 sucks just like position #49. Now there's a way to turn position #9 into outranking position #1 with Featured Snippets for some keywords but most $5 SEOs aren't selling stuff like that because it's a bit more advanced than push button nofollow link blast that don't require any skills.

Also keep in mind, a lot of buyers bring on there own problems when it comes to shopping for an SEO, a lot of of buyers want everything for nothing (ex: Fiverr). So it's not always a bad SEO at fault, there's a niche of buyers wanting something for nothing, so there's going to be sellers selling something for nothing, even If that something is useless.

It is what it is.

Like I always suggest, when buying SEO start with very small projects and work your way up to your ultimate goal. This way you won't be out a lot of money trying to find a decent person to do SEO. Same goes for anything else, even offline and local, plumber, HVAC person, mechanic, etc... don't trust anyone with your money until they prove they can be trusted.

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On 10/31/2017 at 6:33 AM, BIG Mike said:

Do this in htaccess or httpd.conf (assuming you're running Apache):


RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]

This is a site wide redirect to https that avoids the need to do individual page redirects. It preserves the the complete URI to every page so no broken internal links (unless they already existed). It does NOT redirect everything to the main page...

The only reason you'd do individual page redirects is if you're changing the page name or eliminating it altogether (then you can 301 it to a different page or home page). 

There are countless variations on this to fit practically any given situation, so it's worth taking some time to learn more about the various redirect schema you can take advantage of. 


Sorry if I was not clear before, but this is what I meant to do, so that each individual HTTP URL is redirected to the HTTPS version. I have seen web designers instead redirect every HTTP URL to the HTTPS home page, which causes a disaster.

If the URLs are staying the same other than the change to HTTPS, you don't need to write a line of code for each individual URL.

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