I am about to make a site move to https - my developers are doing this using a server-level rewriter and have said this means that redirects will be done automatically so no 301s are required from our old HTTP versions.

Please could you advise if this is correct advice?

This is a well-established site with quite a lot of backlinks and we obviously do not want to risk a big ranking drop.

  • Sorry but we already have a vast amount of questions regarding HTTP to HTTPS while retaining good rankings, one linked is one of several. To preserve rankings 301 is absolutely a must, so if redirecting using PHP rather than mod_rewrite then you must use <?php header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently"); ?> and you should now add 4 website variations to Google Console. Dec 16 '17 at 16:11
  • 1
    Aside: I would want to know exactly what they mean by "a server-level rewriter" and why this means "no 301s are required". Sounds like there is a miscommunication?!
    – MrWhite
    Dec 17 '17 at 0:42

I would update your sitemap with the new URLs containing HTTPS and submit that to the search engines.

The rewrite will change the URL without notifying the requester. But if the search engines see duplicate content, that could hurt search rankings too.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.