We are moving a website from HTTP to HTTPS and I have read Google's support article which is quite good:
As I understand, 301 redirects may affect search engine ranking (at least temporarily), so I am considering a plan that could potentially achieve the migration while avoiding redirecting Googlebot, however I have had to make some assumptions which I would like to validate here.
The plan I came up with is:
- Install the certificates and get the HTTPS version of the site working in parallel with the HTTP version
- Update the canonical links on every page to the HTTPS equivalent. Also update the sitemap.
- Sit back for a few days or weeks as I assume the next time Google crawls the site it is going to find the new canonical links and update its index to the HTTPS URL. <-- ASSUMPTION
- Once Google's index contains only HTTPS URLs from the site, install 301 redirects from the HTTP pages to the HTTPS equivalents. This should have no impact on Google as the next time it crawls it will be crawling HTTPS links. <-- ASSUMPTION
What do you guys think? Are my assumptions right, and is this a reasonable approach?