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Ive recently upgrade a site to HTTPS, as part of this process i added the HTTPS (www. and non www.) versions to google webmaster tools, submitted a fetch as google bot request and then requested re-indexing.

I updated the sitemap to use all HTTPS links, and submitted the sitemap to google.

Google has now reviewed my sitemap but only indexed 2 of the 68 pages on the HTTPS site. On the HTTP site it had previously indexed 67 of 68.

When i find my site in the SERPS its still showing as example.com rather than https://example.com any idea where i may have gone wrong here ?

  • did you use 301 redirects? how long since the migration? – Emirodgar Aug 20 '18 at 10:37
  • @Emirodgar i set 301s from all the HTTP urls to their new HTTPS versions, ive also updated all internal linking in the site to use HTTSP – sam Aug 20 '18 at 10:51
  • Then be patient, you should start seeing that one GSC profile decreased in the same way the other increase the indexed pages. – Emirodgar Aug 20 '18 at 11:11
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    Check that your canonical tags are set to https. And check that you don't have robots.txt on https blocking things.The new URL Inspection tool should give you an idea on URL specific indexing issues. – Tony McCreath Aug 20 '18 at 23:04
  • @TonyMcCreath Thanks re. Canonical tags I thought they were set it the html, is this required as the HTTP version of the site is no longer viewable as its 301ed to the HTTPS version, items 2, and 3 done, re. Item 4 the url inspection tool I’ll check it out – sam Aug 20 '18 at 23:06
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Google will move the URLs from HTTP to HTTPS one at a time and it will do so slowly. It took 8 months for Google to move 90% of the URLs to HTTPS when I migrated one of my sites.

Because it takes such a long time, I recommend this procedure to prevent ranking problems during the transition:

  1. Run both HTTP and HTTPS simultaneously without any redirects.
  2. Set canonical tags to point to HTTPS.
  3. Wait up to a year until almost all the pages are indexed under HTTPS.
  4. Use 301 permanent redirects to redirect HTTP to HTTPS.

We have gotten lots of people asking about ranking and indexing problems when moving from HTTP to HTTPS. See Are drops in Google ranking common after switching to https? Those steps are the only way that I've found to make it happen without problems.

  • Then, both http and https pages will be indexed. What happen if google think those are duplicate content? – I am the Most Stupid Person Aug 21 '18 at 11:20
  • I have only rarely see Google index the same exact page twice on HTTP and HTTPS. When that happens Google figures it out pretty quickly and chooses one to index. Having some of your pages indexed HTTP and some as HTTPS isn't a problem at all and you should expect that for many months. Putting canonical tags on your pages pointing to HTTPS is a very strong signal that Google should choose the HTTPS pages and it will eventually get there. Unfortunately it takes far more time than most people expect. – Stephen Ostermiller Aug 21 '18 at 11:32
  • @StephenOstermiller Thanks, ive seen the HTTPS start to get more pages indexed, now its at about 25% inc the homepage. Whats i found strange is how long it takes i would have thought it would have had the same speed as a 301 when changing domains, which google seems to reindex pretty quick. Is there any downside in just setting a 301 from HTTP to HTTPS and not running them side by side and setting canonical tags, as if google dosnt re crawl those pages for a while it wont un index them, and if an end user clicks through on one they will get 301'ed anyway – sam Aug 23 '18 at 13:34
  • I've seen 20+ reports of ranking drops associated with 301 redirects from HTTP to HTTPS. Some sites seem to do fine with redirects, but ranking problems are common. The canonical tags seems to be the safer option. Either way Google has to recrawl the HTTP pages to notice that there is a redirect or notice the canonical. The biggest difference seems to be that with redirects Google has two choices: Index the new location or don't index. With canonicals it has the added option of ignoring the canonical and continuing to index the HTTP version. It seems to choose that last option lots – Stephen Ostermiller Aug 23 '18 at 14:17

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