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I've had to change one of my site's home page to HTTPS from HTTP. I had plenty of links coming into the HTTP page and was performing well in Google against many of my targeted search phrases.

I did a 301 redirect from the HTTP page to transfer the link juice to the HTTPS page (and to prevent duplicate content issues) but my search rankings have tanked which indicates no link juice has been transferred. My PageRank has vanished - which I'd expect - but I'm really surprised that the SERP rankings fell off the face of the earth. Anyone have any ideas how I can recover from this? I've waited a couple of months since the changes took effect just in case Google was taking time to check it out.

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Do you really need to have your home page on HTTPS ? –  Matthieu Napoli Mar 2 '11 at 22:46

2 Answers 2

My first question would be why the homepage needs to be HTTPS? What exactly is being secured that requires SSL on the homepage?

If you've done a 301 redirect the next question would be whether or not you're indexed at the same rate. How many pages show up on a site:domain.com query for you? I'd also double check the 301 redirect to make sure using a redirect checker.

John is correct that the SE's don't handle HTTPS that well, but they should pass through after some time, so I'd definitely look at double checking the redirects, making sure you're using canonical for the HTTP version (http://domain.com going to http://www.domain.com), and then if that all fails, figuring out how to get away from the HTTPS issue.

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Search engines don't appear to support HTTPS nearly as well as HTTP. There are probably good reasons for this as many sites use HTTPS to keep bots out of restricted or sensitive areas. Does your home page really need to be encrypted? If not there is no reason to use https anyway and you should switch back to HTTP.

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