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Old 07-16-2017, 11:28 PM   #1
jimstones22
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Did your rankings drop after moving to HTTPs?

Have any of you moved your site to HTTPs the past year? How did that go for you? Did your rankings drop?

If so, how many days after installing SSL did they drop? Did you recover soon after the drop for all keywords? Or did you not recover at all?

The big G maintains that there should be no loss of traffic after following their guidelines. But 4 days after moving to HTTPs we lost over 50% of our traffic. HTTP pages that were ranking for particular keywords are no longer showing in the SERPs.

These however haven't been replaced with the HTTPs versions. One of our websites is no longer ranking for about 50% of its keywords. After rigorous testing we could not find any red flags, the SSL certificate is working correctly, permanent 301 redirects have been set, and canonical tags are present in the new HTTPs pages.

Technically we don't need the HTTPs, we thought we'd make the move as it would be inevitable eventually. From what I read I see horror stories of it taking weeks to months or some never even recover.

We can't afford this temporary/permanent traffic loss. Have any of you moved back to HTTP again after a failed/risky transition? Did you regain your rankings immediately?

We're not prepared to wait this one out as it clearly does more harm than good.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:59 AM   #2
TBFS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimstones22 View Post
Have any of you moved your site to HTTPs the past year? How did that go for you? Did your rankings drop?

If so, how many days after installing SSL did they drop? Did you recover soon after the drop for all keywords? Or did you not recover at all?

The big G maintains that there should be no loss of traffic after following their guidelines. But 4 days after moving to HTTPs we lost over 50% of our traffic. HTTP pages that were ranking for particular keywords are no longer showing in the SERPs.

These however haven't been replaced with the HTTPs versions. One of our websites is no longer ranking for about 50% of its keywords. After rigorous testing we could not find any red flags, the SSL certificate is working correctly, permanent 301 redirects have been set, and canonical tags are present in the new HTTPs pages.

Technically we don't need the HTTPs, we thought we'd make the move as it would be inevitable eventually. From what I read I see horror stories of it taking weeks to months or some never even recover.

We can't afford this temporary/permanent traffic loss. Have any of you moved back to HTTP again after a failed/risky transition? Did you regain your rankings immediately?

We're not prepared to wait this one out as it clearly does more harm than good.

a temp drop is normal, and it dependse on the site.
we had a new site, 1 year old. moved to https, a few days after the move it went to 0 traffic, then went back up a week later.

we had a old site, 7 years old, moved to https, a few days later lost 50% traffic, 2-3 weeks later started to gain traffic again. we have more traffic than before now.
BUT, we did lose some old keywords due to the move (money keywords for us)
7 months later some of them are back now, but not all.

so each site will be different, but for us it was worth it overal
if you cant take a temp traffic loss switching to https was a bad call, switching back... could work, but will takes days and could potentially have issues aswell
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:36 AM   #3
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it all depends
- I move to https one quality site most keywords from 1-10 in google with amazing traffic
and gap was only 3 days.
- i move also plenty of no-quality sites or where rankings was around ~30 and gap was even a 3-4 weeks.

if you do for all non-www and www redirection to https and when you add all types to google webmaster tools you don't should get any drops of ranking - your site will be re-indexed and all links also will be re-indexed from no http to https and it will get a time.
If you have a chance good step will be to change some link to your site from http to https
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:53 AM   #4
TBFS
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it all depends
- I move to https one quality site most keywords from 1-10 in google with amazing traffic
and gap was only 3 days.
- i move also plenty of no-quality sites or where rankings was around ~30 and gap was even a 3-4 weeks.

if you do for all non-www and www redirection to https and when you add all types to google webmaster tools you don't should get any drops of ranking - your site will be re-indexed and all links also will be re-indexed from no http to https and it will get a time.
If you have a chance good step will be to change some link to your site from http to https

there remains a small risk though
for example we had a site with keyword heavy backlinks/anchors, but it was gathered over a period of 7 year. when we moved to https all those links got redirect at once to a 'new' page. and we got a penalty shortly after

if everything is fine and dandy the move shouldn't be so risky
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:44 AM   #5
magneto664
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there remains a small risk though
for example we had a site with keyword heavy backlinks/anchors, but it was gathered over a period of 7 year. when we moved to https all those links got redirect at once to a 'new' page. and we got a penalty shortly after
Are you sure you get penaty by this? Usually google recognizes move to https for a good step, or maybe by early stage was some problem with it.
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:56 AM   #6
TBFS
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Are you sure you get penaty by this? Usually google recognizes move to https for a good step, or maybe by early stage was some problem with it.
we are fairly confident. (we run a mainstream seo business)
can never be entirely sure though ofc. but the move was done properly, no real google updates at the time.
it wasn't a real penalty, it was a reorder. like we went from #1 to #6-7 but we had been #1 for for over 5 years for some of those terms
we are back up to #2-3 now, but its been more than 7 months now
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:17 AM   #7
magneto664
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#1 for for over 5 years for some of those terms we are back up to #2-3 now, but its been more than 7 months now
And who is a competitor? right now (did he do something on this time)?
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:30 AM   #8
jimstones22
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a temp drop is normal, and it dependse on the site.
we had a new site, 1 year old. moved to https, a few days after the move it went to 0 traffic, then went back up a week later.

we had a old site, 7 years old, moved to https, a few days later lost 50% traffic, 2-3 weeks later started to gain traffic again. we have more traffic than before now.
BUT, we did lose some old keywords due to the move (money keywords for us)
7 months later some of them are back now, but not all.

so each site will be different, but for us it was worth it overal
if you cant take a temp traffic loss switching to https was a bad call, switching back... could work, but will takes days and could potentially have issues aswell
We did move a less popular site to HTTPs before. Since we didn't have much traffic on it, the risk was low and the rankings remained for whatever small number of KWs we ranked for.

However, this time we moved a site that was ranking for over 20K keywords. I think it's impossible for large sites to just rank seamless for all those KWs again in the same position when switching to HTTPs as if nothing happened. The pages are nowhere to be found for high volume keywords, although do rank for long-tails in some cases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magneto664 View Post
it all depends
- I move to https one quality site most keywords from 1-10 in google with amazing traffic
and gap was only 3 days.
- i move also plenty of no-quality sites or where rankings was around ~30 and gap was even a 3-4 weeks.

if you do for all non-www and www redirection to https and when you add all types to google webmaster tools you don't should get any drops of ranking - your site will be re-indexed and all links also will be re-indexed from no http to https and it will get a time.
If you have a chance good step will be to change some link to your site from http to https
I don't think it's worth the risk, maybe if the site is new or has low traffic. Then there isn't much to lose. But I doubt we're going to rank again for the same 20K+ keywords in a matter of days.

We think we'll switch back to HTTP again if it doesn't resolve within 48 hours as it still been less than a week. We don't run forms, already had my doubts for a long time when it comes to moving large sites to HTTPs.

This just confirmed what I was fearing, on top of all those horror stories on the web. The loss of income, the uncertainty of how long it takes, and risk altogether all make it not worth it for regular sites to move HTTPs in my humble opinion.
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:50 AM   #9
magneto664
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We think we'll switch back to HTTP again if it doesn't resolve within 48 hours as it still been less than a week. We don't run forms, already had my doubts for a long time when it comes to moving large sites to HTTPs.
I agree with you - if you don't run forms or don't do a e-commerce https may be unnecessary (right now). but according google rules is a good move.

about your issue:
did you try add all version of site to webmaster tools - http with no-www www and https www & no-www. check your redirection - from all version : Redirect Checker | Check your Statuscode 301 vs 302
- request re-index by webmaster tools.
- add some https backlinks and try change existing http to https links.

I do seo from 10/11 years and after all panda & penguin stories I make decisions to play with google fair - and I'm happy with it (yeap I'm a big fan of https)
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Old 07-18-2017, 04:13 AM   #10
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In my experience, there will be a temporary drop for several days/weeks. Then everything will be back to normal or even better in some cases ;)
Make sure you set up https change properly.
Read this tutorial for more: https://www.keycdn.com/blog/http-to-https/
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Old 07-21-2017, 02:30 AM   #11
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No in our case https increased traffic
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Old 07-21-2017, 02:33 AM   #12
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I've read the FAQs and searched the help center.
My URL is:

Long story short - we had a manual penalty about Feb to June 2013, which was lifted (confirmed by Google Search Quality Team in July 2013) - many thousands removed, and hundred or so disavowed - all thanks to a prior owner hiring a dodgy SEO. Unfortunately nothing we did between July 2013 and July 2014 helped us improve rankings whatsoever - we changed to a much faster server, got a quality CDN, developed a mobile friendly site, implemented reviews on site, improved copy, improved user experience where and how we could, we basically went back to scratch on some things, and looked at improving for our users.

With no improvement being seen, about 2 months ago we changed URL's, from .com.au to .net.au to try and leave this penalty behind, and move on. We used a 301 redirect to point all traffic from old domain to new. Rankings improved, and while not like pre-Feb 2013, were okay and gave us hope we could move forward in a clean fresh manner.

Recently, we read about the move Google is making to implement "https everywhere" so we decided to embrace this and make the change to https, and 3 days ago we changed to the https version of the new .net.au - re-pointing the old .com.au domain to the new https .net.au domain, and also 301'ing the new http .net.au to the https version.

Yesterday comes, and all of our rankings disappear .. and no sign of the https version of our site in search results. No penalty listed in Google Webmaster Tools.

Thoughts?
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Old 07-23-2017, 05:47 PM   #13
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After dropping traffic massively due to google algorithm changes I started moving everything over to https hoping it would help.
Since then, traffic has continued to drop and since February I have lost 95% of all my traffic with no idea what the problem is or why. Also, no idea how to fix.

Fucking sucks
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