I thought I would ask a question as the amount of different sources that say this is right or that isn't right is unbelievable.

Let me tell you my situation, at the moment, my boss wanted me to add SSL to the website, to get the green padlock more or less. I've done this, while also using .htaccess file to force HTTPS.

The main problem is that Google is seeing http://site.co.uk and https://site.co.uk and is indexing them.

Will the page rank carry over from http://site.co.uk to https://site.co.uk using a permemant 301 redirection or would a canonical set to https://site.co.uk work just as well?

1 Answer 1


This depends if you want the site to be accessible via both http and https. (This may be the case if you only want https active once users login).

If you don't need both http and https accessible then a 301 redirect from http and https is the correct thing to do.

301 redirects are preferable, as they will carry over most of the PageRank and canonical tags are only a hint to Google, not an absolute directive, although they do try to follow them where possible

If you do however need both http and https accessible then canonical tags would be the correct thing to do, as if you set 301 redirects, http wont be accessible as they will redirect to https

Also, ensure to reflect your redirects or canonicals in your sites internal linking and sitemap.xml file. - Stick to one type of linking, e.g all link are defined with https in site structure and in the sitemap.xml file.

  • We have a payment section on our website, that is fully secure through https, although my boss want's the green padlock on all major pages. What would you suggest in this situation?
    – Switchfire
    Jun 20, 2013 at 10:17
  • 1
    redirects from http to https and make sure site structure is linking with https and URLs in sitemap.xml use https.
    – Max
    Jun 20, 2013 at 10:22
  • Ok thanks alot for the help, would doing it this way also solve the duplicate content between site and site?
    – Switchfire
    Jun 20, 2013 at 10:39
  • Not sure what you are asking in that comment? Do you mean http and https again?
    – Max
    Jun 20, 2013 at 10:47
  • Sorry Yes duplicate content between http and https
    – Switchfire
    Jun 20, 2013 at 11:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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