How Not to Loses Ranking Switching to HTTPS

Here’s what to do in terms of converting over to https.

MY CLIENTS: we switched July 20 2017 and as you can see no losses of traffic. We actually gained traffic. 

https traffic

First, go through the website and change fully-qualified include files, links, and image references to be relative (i.e. without the http or https, and without the domain).  Examples:

LINK EXAMPLE <li><a href=”http://www.printingcenterusa.com/Shopping/LoginRegister.aspx“>Login </a></li>

change to

<li><a href=”/Shopping/LoginRegister.aspx”>Login </a></li>

STYLESHEET EXAMPLE:

Once you think it’s all working correctly, then go to each major page on the site and hit it via https.  Make sure you get the padlock showing in the address bar, meaning the page is fully secure. If you find a page where it’s not, here’s a site that’ll help you identify what on the page is the problem:

https://www.whynopadlock.com/

Next, crawl the entire live site (the old one) with Screaming Frog SEO Spider, and then export an XML sitemap from the crawl.

Next, add a 301 redirect rule in your .htaccess file to redirect all http requests to the same page but on https.

Then, move the new, all-https site live.

Load the XML sitemap you just generated back into Screaming Frog, and have it crawl the URLs in that sitemap.  You can then go to the response codes tab, sort by response code, and be sure that everything 301s to the https pages.

Next, create a new project in Google Search Console for the https version of the site.

Create an updated XML sitemap for the https version of the site (you can generate it with a new crawl from Screaming Frog if you want).  Save that in the root folder on the server, and submit it to Google Search Console under the new https project.

Last and most important if you have a disavow file currently upload in Google search console make sure you upload the current file to the new https search console.

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