I upgraded my site so that all pages have gone from using HTTP to HTTPS. I didn't consider that Google treats HTTPS pages differently than HTTP. I recreated my sitemap to so that all links now reflect the new HTTPS URLs and let it be for a few days. (Whoops!)

Google is now re-indexing all the HTTPS pages. I have about 19k pages on the site, and Google has already indexed about 8k of the new HTTPS pages. The problem is that Google sees all of these as brand new pages when many of them have a long HTTP history.

Of course most of you will recognize the problem, I didn't set up a 301 from the old HTTP to the new HTTPS URLs. Is it too late to do this? Should I switch my sitemap back to HTTP URLs and then 301 redirect to the new HTTPS URls? Or should I leave the sitemap as is, and setup 301 redirects anyway... I'm not even sure if Google is trying to reach the HTTP site anymore. Currently the site is doing 303 redirects (from HTTP to HTTPS), although I haven't figured out why yet.

  • You can safely redirect http to https anytime. It sounds like you got a few things going on, but should be okay. Just redirect http to https, leave the sitemap with https, and wait. You should be fine. It just might take a while.
    – closetnoc
    Aug 21, 2014 at 1:21
  • @closetnoc That's kind of what I figured. Since my host did the upgrade I still need to figure out why it is giving me a 303. Trying to override this in my .htaccess isn't working.
    – SLIM
    Aug 21, 2014 at 1:35
  • 1
    Sounds like it is time to call the host and ask them what they did. Obviously, something is amiss.
    – closetnoc
    Aug 21, 2014 at 2:40
  • Don't forget to approve the answer if you like it. Aug 25, 2014 at 17:18

1 Answer 1


To answer your question, no, it is not too late to implement the 301 redirect from HTTP to HTTPS. Don't switch back your sitemap to HTTP, it is not necessary. Yes Google can still call your HTTP site for a while until its indexes only the HTTPS URLs.

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.