Here at Stack Exchange we're working on moving all traffic to SSL. The reason we're not doing logged-in-users only is that one side of the login divide would suffer a redirect from Google every time. This happens because Google's only going to have
https:// in the results, not both. Aside from building the SSL infrastructure (details here), the outstanding question we have is:
how do we best transition to SSL?
Here are the relevant bits of our plan (testing on small sites, moving up to
- Get SSL ready/enabled (but not linked to) on all domains
- Start rendering only the
- Start sending a 301 for all
https://(from our domains...of course we can't do anything about all the existing links pointing to us)
- After a transition period, set all user cookies as
So the endgame is having all content delivered over SSL and all HTTP requests redirected. What we're primarily concerned with is how this will affect PageRank to our sites. We depend a great deal on traffic that comes from Google and want to ensure that doesn't take a dive as we start delivering more security to our users.
@Frank Yes, I'm certain that Google treats HTTP and HTTPS URLs as separate URLs for crawling, indexing and ranking (I work with the web-search team here at Google). Doing canonicalization with a 301 redirect like you mentioned is a great way to solve this :) – John Mueller Oct 23 '10
and the only webmasters video I could find: Can switching to HTTPS harm ranking? The video doesn't have a solid answer, not one I'd base the future of a company on anyway.
Is our transition plan the best way to accomplish an SSL move, at least from an SEO perspective? If there's other more recent or concrete advice around how a move like this affects Google ranking we'd love to hear about it.