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So all of a sudden, searches for our site "radiotuna" give out the result as an HTTPS link.

https://www.google.com/?q=radiotuna#hl=en&safe=off&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=radiotuna&oq=radiotuna&gs_l=hp.12...0.0.0.3499.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0.les%3B..0.0...1c.LnOvBvgDOBk&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=177c7ff705652ec3&biw=1366&bih=602

We only use https for the download of two specific files (these urls are resources used for autoupdate functionality of an app we distribute). All other parts of the site should be served over http. We wouldn't like to see any other traffic over https, nor any of our site links to appear in search engines as https.

I'd like to address this issue. It seems that the following solutions are available:

hand out an https specific robots.txt as such:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

and/or at app-level, 301 permanent redirect all requests (except the two above) to HTTP if they come in as HTTPS.

My concern with the robots method is that, say (for some reason) google decided not to index http pages, disallowing https pages might mean that google has nothing left to index with disastrous consequences for our ranking.

This means I'm inclined to go with a 301 redirect.

Any thoughts?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

A 301 redirect would be preferable. Just the same as if you required certain pages to be available under HTTPS only; you would redirect from HTTP to HTTPS. This would also have immediate effect. Although it might take a short while for Google to update its links.

However, why not serve all content over HTTPS?
http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2012/02/should-all-web-traffic-be-encrypted.html

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The trouble with this is that we are a radio aggregator. Radio streams are never served via https. As such, we hit mixed HTTP/HTTPS content warnings, so it serves more as a non-assurance than an assurance to our clients. We'll probably move the login stuff to https sometime soon. –  spender Sep 3 '12 at 17:18
    
Ah yes, you have a point. Although navigating your site under HTTPS does not appear to be an issue for me in Chrome? (Nice site btw!) –  w3d Sep 3 '12 at 17:30
    
This ties up with the answer I got from Google forums ( productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/webmasters/… ), so you get a green tick. Thanks! –  spender Sep 3 '12 at 18:30
1  
Worked perfectly. Not the slightest dip in our rankings. –  spender Sep 9 '12 at 0:27
    
@spender: I've just noticed that when real users follow a link in the SERPs they are 302-redirected to the homepage, whilst (google)bots appear to be served the actual page? Why is this? –  w3d Sep 10 '12 at 9:07

I just did some research and found that Google have indexed your 28,200 pages https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Aradiotuna.com%2F&pws=0&gl=US

I don't think there is any issue for such pages..you really need to work on optimizing your website with proper content and keywords in Title meta.

Nice website indeed !!

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