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    HTTP to HTTPs migration


    A great post by John Mueller (Google)

    https://plus.google.com/+JohnMueller/posts/PY1xCWbeDVC

    I'll quote it all here too:

    Planning on moving to HTTPS? Here are 13 FAQs! What's missing? Let me know in the comments and I'll expand this over time, perhaps it's even worth a blog post or help center article. Note that these are specific to moving an existing site from HTTP to HTTPS on the same hostname. Also remember to check out our help center at https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6073543

    # Do I need to set something in Search Console? No, just add the HTTPS site there. The change-of-address setting doesn't apply for HTTP -> HTTPS moves.

    # How can we do an A/B test? Don't cloak to Googlebot specifically, use 302 redirects + rel=canonical to HTTP if you want to test HTTPS but not have it indexed. Don't block via robots.txt . More about A/B testing at https://googlewebmastercentral.blogs...le-search.html (302 redirects aren't cached.)

    # Will the rel=canonical guarantee that the HTTP URL is indexed? No, but it's a very strong signal when picking the indexed URL.

    # What's the next step after testing? Follow our site-move documentation ( https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6033049 ). Use 301 redirects from HTTP to HTTPS, confirm the new version by adding a rel=canonical on the HTTPS page, pointing to itself, and submit sitemaps including both HTTP & HTTPS URLs with new change-dates (in the long run, just keep the HTTPS sitemap).

    # What about the robots.txt file? The HTTPS site uses the HTTPS robots.txt file. Check that it's reachable or serves a 404 result code, and check that your HTTP URLs aren't blocked by the HTTP robots.txt file.

    # Is it OK to have just some pages on HTTPS? Yes, no problem! Start with a part, test it, add more.

    # Should I move everything together, or is it fine to do sections? Moving in sections is fine.

    # Will I see a drop in search? Fluctuations can happen with any bigger site change. We can't make any guarantees, but our systems are usually good with HTTP -> HTTPS moves.

    # Which certificate do I need? For Google Search, any modern certificate that's accepted by modern browsers is acceptable.

    # Do I lose "link juice" from the redirects? No, for 301 or 302 redirects from HTTP to HTTPS no PageRank is lost.

    # Will we see search keywords in Google Analytics when we're on HTTPS? This won't change with HTTPS, you can see the search queries in Search Console.

    # How can I test how many pages were indexed? Verify HTTP / HTTPS separately in Search Console, use Index Status for a broad look, or the sitemaps indexed counts for sitemap URLs.

    # How long will a move from HTTP to HTTPS take? There are no fixed crawl frequencies, it depends on the size of your site, and the speed of crawling that's possible. The move takes place on a per-URL basis.


    Hope this helps clarify some of the open questions! Let me know if there's anything missing.
    Really important section here though:
    # Do I lose "link juice" from the redirects? No, for 301 or 302 redirects from HTTP to HTTPS no PageRank is lost.

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    • markroberts agrees : Nice!
    Always happy to help in private message. | Freelance SEO https://thomasharvey.me
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    Thanks Tom! This topic has been a big issue around here lately - I just found myself wondering if there were any great guides/tips out there!
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    Originally Posted by markroberts
    Thanks Tom! This topic has been a big issue around here lately - I just found myself wondering if there were any great guides/tips out there!
    I completely agree, I've done some migrations myself and have had little to no issues. I believe that the issues arise with a poor cms or a poor plan of action. The biggest killer ultimately I believe is people being lazy and skipping steps. I'll try and modify this post later to include some good information about doing a site migration.
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    Thx for sharing! It's a good one.
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    I have a couple of questions for those that have done this for a number of their clients before.

    I just recently converted my entire site to https however, there a couple of things that I am unsure of.

    1st question: when you add the https:// version of your website to WMT search console do you need to add the www and non-www version of the https site in the web master tools search console for site properties? As it stands, when I originally set up my website in web master tools years ago I added the www. and non-www. version of my website in the web properties and set the WWW. version as the preferred domain.

    Do I need to add both of the https versions in search console as I did with the HTTP ones?

    2nd question: Sitemap submissions: do both HTTP and HTTPS versions of my Sitemaps get uploaded into the pcmedicsoncall.com property?

    3rd question: .htaccess question: in my .htaccess file I have had the non-www version of my site redirecting to the www. version of the site as not to get a duplicate content penalty.

    with that said, my question is does that code need to be changed to reflect the HTTPS version of the website???

    Original Code:
    # Redirect non-www urls to www
    Options +FollowSymlinks
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^pcmedicsoncall\.com$ [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.pcmedicsoncall.com/$1 [R=301,L]

    Should code Above be modified to this below now that I am on HTTPS???

    Modified Code:
    # Redirect non-www urls to www
    Options +FollowSymlinks
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^pcmedicsoncall\.com$ [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.pcmedicsoncall.com/$1 [R=301,L]
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    Yes, a really interesting post; I'd not seen JM's post on G+. Looking forward to the responses to Campbell McArth's questions above as I'm going to be going HTTPS very soon...
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    Originally Posted by Campbell McArth
    I have a couple of questions for those that have done this for a number of their clients before.

    I just recently converted my entire site to https however, there a couple of things that I am unsure of.

    1st question: when you add the https:// version of your website to WMT search console do you need to add the www and non-www version of the https site in the web master tools search console for site properties? As it stands, when I originally set up my website in web master tools years ago I added the www. and non-www. version of my website in the web properties and set the WWW. version as the preferred domain.

    Do I need to add both of the https versions in search console as I did with the HTTP ones?

    2nd question: Sitemap submissions: do both HTTP and HTTPS versions of my Sitemaps get uploaded into the pcmedicsoncall.com property?

    3rd question: .htaccess question: in my .htaccess file I have had the non-www version of my site redirecting to the www. version of the site as not to get a duplicate content penalty.

    with that said, my question is does that code need to be changed to reflect the HTTPS version of the website???

    Original Code:
    # Redirect non-www urls to www
    Options +FollowSymlinks
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^pcmedicsoncall\.com$ [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.pcmedicsoncall.com/$1 [R=301,L]

    Should code Above be modified to this below now that I am on HTTPS???

    Modified Code:
    # Redirect non-www urls to www
    Options +FollowSymlinks
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^pcmedicsoncall\.com$ [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.pcmedicsoncall.com/$1 [R=301,L]

    1. Yes you should have both versions in search console (including the current ones you have)

    2. Yes you should have the HTTP version so that Google can see the redirects and indexes it quicker.

    3. Yes you will have to update this so that it redirects to the https version that you're using. I'm sure someone shall be along shortly to share the required code
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    Originally Posted by ThomasHarvey
    1. Yes you should have both versions in search console (including the current ones you have)

    2. Yes you should have the HTTP version so that Google can see the redirects and indexes it quicker.

    3. Yes you will have to update this so that it redirects to the https version that you're using. I'm sure someone shall be along shortly to share the required code
    Well good afternoon Thomas Harvey.

    Ok so what you are saying is that both the http and https versions of the sitemap should indeed be uploaded into the HTTPS Site property in Search Console?

    Currently, I have added both the HTTP and HTTPS versions of my sitemap into my https://www.pcmedicsoncall.com website property in WMT Search Console. = Is this Correct?

    Currently, I have added both the www. and non-www of the HTTPS versions of my website into the search console.

    In regards to the redirect code for 301 redirects to HTTPS I already have the code in place from when I initially set it up which is this right here if anyone needs it.

    Please Note: this 301 redirect to HTTPS Code is good providing that you do not have any add on domains or subdirectories that you wish to leave as HTTP because it is in the root .htaccess file and will 301 redirect all properties to HTTPS Protocol

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
    RewriteRule (.*) https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]
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    Mark sure you're testing all JavaScript functionality. For example, one known issue I can speak to is faceted navigation on mobile. It may work in http but not all JS will necessarily work over secure protocols.

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