This article describes how to change the URLs of existing pages on your site with minimal impact on your Google Search results. Examples of this kind of site move include:
example.netor merging multiple domains or hostnames
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site. Users expect a secure and private online experience when using a website. We encourage you to adopt HTTPS in order to protect your users’ connections to your website, regardless of the content on the site.
Data sent using HTTPS is secured via Transport Layer Security protocol (TLS), which provides three key layers of protection:
You must obtain a security certificate as a part of enabling HTTPS for your site. The certificate is issued by a certificate authority (CA), which takes steps to verify that your web address actually belongs to your organization, thus protecting your customers from man-in-the-middle attacks. When setting up your certificate, ensure a high level of security by choosing a 2048-bit key. If you already have a certificate with a weaker key (1024-bit), upgrade it to 2048 bits. When choosing your site certificate, keep in mind the following:
www.example.com, cdn.example.com, example.co.uk).
Redirect your users and search engines to the HTTPS page or resource with server-side 301 HTTP redirects.
noindextags in your HTTPS pages.
As with all migrations, you may experience some ranking fluctuation during a migration. However, you should also review the best practices information for HTTPS pages to avoid HTTPS-specific pitfalls.
HTTPS sites receive a small ranking boost, but don’t expect a visible change. Google uses HTTPS as a positive ranking signal.
This signal is one amongst many others, and currently carries less weight than high-quality site content; you should not expect a major SEO advantage for moving to HTTPS in the short term. In the longer term, Google may increase the strength of the HTTPS boost.
Yes, no problem! Start with a part, test it, then move more, as you like.
If you are migrating from HTTP to HTTPS in pieces, and you want to avoid early indexing of the staged URLs, we recommend using
rel=canonical rather than redirects. If you use redirects, you won’t be able to test the redirected pages.
For Google Search, any modern certificate that’s accepted by modern browsers is acceptable.
This won’t change with HTTPS; you can still see search queries in Search Console.
We recommend separate robots.txt files for HTTP and HTTPS, pointing to separate sitemap files for HTTP and HTTPS. We also recommend listing a specific URL in only one sitemap file.
You can create a separate sitemap just for the updated section of your site. This will enable you to track indexing of the trial section more precisely. Be sure not to duplicate these URLs in any other sitemaps, though.
List all HTTP URLs in your HTTP sitemap, and all HTTPS URLs in your HTTPS sitemap, regardless of redirects when the user visits the page. Having pages listed in your sitemap regardless of redirects will help search engines discover the new URLs faster.
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