Our tutorial platform is example.com - it was online with non-www version. i.e. http://example.com

We added SSL(https) certificate and now there are issues that are affecting my site.

Now there are four kinds of URL format being run in Google indexing with:

  • https://www.example.com/ (Right one)
  • https://example.com/
  • http://www.example.com/
  • http://example.com/

Due to technical issue we had to change servers and certificate while moving site SSL.

Now traffic is drastically down.

I am getting click on all four versions. But it has created a lot of issues with duplicity which might have adversely affected the traffic during HTTPS conversion.

Should we use 301 redirect to all but still with non-https URL are getting pretty low in google ranking?

Present Status : - We have added all sites in Search console and set the preferred version as HTTPS www version.

Looking for some strong indexing solutions!

  • 2
    So, you are basically migrating your site from http://example.com to https://www.example.com? Do/did you not set up canonical redirection in the first place? Before you implemented the SSL cert did you have a canonical www to non-www 301 redirect? (I filled in the gaps of your indexed domains... you'd simply listed http:// and http://?)
    – MrWhite
    Commented Dec 11, 2016 at 23:24
  • Assuming that all is set up properly, you do have to realize that traffic will drop from HTTP and begin to show up on HTTPS. This is a major disruption in search and search traffic overall will drop for a period while your HTTPS site ramps up. It can take months to regain your expected traffic.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Dec 12, 2016 at 2:59
  • 1
    Have you looked into rel canonical link meta tags? Commented Dec 13, 2016 at 13:32

1 Answer 1


If you want https://www.example.com/ to be your chosen main domain, you just need to ensure you have followed these steps:

  1. 301 redirect all other variants to this version. Ensure to do a page to page 301 redirect, rather all pages to home page for example.
  2. Update your canonical tags so they all reference the https and www prefix version.
  3. Update all other instances of URLs to use https and www prefix. This might include, but not limited too: all internal linking, all schema mark up, image file URLs, ahref lang tags, rel=next/prev tags
  4. Creata an XML sitemap on your https, www prefix domain, and ensure to only include https and www prefix URLS within it, submit it in search console in the correct entry you added.
  5. Update Google Analytics and any tools you may use to state the correct domain.

You will see fluctuations in rankings and traffic after doing all this, as you mention you have all 4 variants indexed and getting traffic, but after time it should level out, and you will be avoiding any duplication issues.

  • 1
    Optionally, you can add HSTS, which will remove the need for redirecting http->https and give a small security boost
    – jrtapsell
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 8:19
  • @jrtapsell I agree but do be warned - the entire domain, including subdomains, must be working over HTTPS to use HSTS. Certainly wait for a few weeks/months to ensure you have no issues with your HTTPS implementation. Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 18:22

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