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What Happened When I Flipped a WordPress Based Site from http to https


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  1. Rae, great post as always!

    Did you notice any significant ranking changes for certain all-too-important key phrases as shown in places like GWMT?

    • Aside from the first week, where stuff appeared to shuffle positively a bit, none of any significance in the weeks following the flip. Minor fluctuation. My rankings have improved on mobile (independent of desktop) over the last six months, but I’ve seen a lot of chatter that indicates that is not limited to me and more to do with algorithmic changes in the mobile space.

  2. The only thing that has been holding me back on some of my sites was losing the social shares, but now I’m pretty much meh, who cares about that nowadays. Thanks for the list of steps you took; I’m sure I’d have forgotten something.

    • Losing social shares has definitely affected my decision on not flipping one site in particular. I think it depends on the site whether or not there is real value lost in resetting them. Some people see them as a vanity metric. For certain niches, I think they have more than vanity value. A recipe site for instance may find that people trust a recipe more if there are more social shares or are more likely to subscribe based on the evident popularity (which they correlate as being from value) a site has.

  3. You should check your site with SSLlabs SSL checker ( for example, your SSL config is vulnerable to POODLE – you should disable ssl 3, etc.
    Though it should not affect rankings too much.
    Also, there are some issues with SNI, if you use certificate on multi-site on single ip environment, though it would affect mobile browsers only. Haven’t checked for that.

  4. I also recently made the shift. There was a spike in traffic but as you say it’s hard to attribute it directly to the https move and there’s no way to A/B test this stuff.

  5. My personal results were bad.. I attribute it to the 301 redirect to https – apparently 301 redirects from http to https doesn’t pass rank in a positive manner. To matters worse my site was removed from google news 5 days after the move, which was very, very painful.

    • Well, according to Google there is no Pagerank loss for switching from http to https.

      (Q) Do I lose “link juice” from the redirects?
      (A) No, for 301 or 302 redirects from HTTP to HTTPS no PageRank is lost.

      In the cases where we’ve switched sites, we’ve seen no detriment. I can’t comment on Google news because I haven’t flipped a site utilizing it. Have you tried resubmitting with the new https url?

  6. Ashley Faulkes says:

    was considering it along with a url change (to remove year, month wordpress crap I should not have turned on years ago) but I think I won’t now I read this. Thanks for the heads up Rae!

  7. Rae, great post. I’m glad I found it as I started the process a few weeks ago, not realizing there are other things I need to do (like fixing broken links). I’ll go through your list of issues carefully. Thanks.

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