We have launched HTTPS version of site at 6 Oct. After few days (8 Oct.) Google dropped 40% of normal search traffic, and more 20% within next 2 days. SSL certificate was bought from GoDaddy, and server configured correctly without any errors (all internal links/images/scripts also support HTTPS). All URLs are identical like:

http://example.com/this_is_url = https://example.com/this_is_url

Has anyone had a similar situation? Should I write to Google? Or just wait?

  • 1
    Did you do a 301 redirect from the http to the https pages?
    – John Conde
    Oct 13, 2014 at 17:30
  • No. No any redirects. Oct 13, 2014 at 17:31
  • Try setting up a 301 redirect from the non-ssl pages to the ssl pages. That will tell Google they are the same page.
    – John Conde
    Oct 13, 2014 at 17:32
  • 1
    I see. But im not happy with forcing to use https (for website users). Do link rel="canonical" can help also? Oct 13, 2014 at 17:49
  • 1
    Canonical URLs should work, too, if you want both https and http to work simultaneously.
    – John Conde
    Oct 13, 2014 at 18:15

2 Answers 2


The reason this happens might be because of (amongst things) duplicate content. You know that the http and https version are the same page, but Google treats them as two pages, thus duplicate.

What you need to do is send a redirect with 301 header. 301 means 'permanent redirect', or simply put: 'dont use this url anymore, use the one I send you to:

An .htaccess example, the following snippet make ALL pages https, with 301 header:

# force ssl
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} ^80$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]

Another action you should take is adding (meta-)canonical tags to you page. They indicate the prefered url, as well as indication "no matter what url you're on right now, the canonical is the real/original/preferred url"

You kinda should've done your research, this drop could've easiliy been avoided. Adding a 301-header is the first and most needed step, you should've known.

  • I agree with canonical tag, but disagree with redirects. Many sites (like stackexchange, quora etc) work with 2 versions without redirects. And in you answer there is apache config, but i use nginx. Oct 14, 2014 at 19:47
  • That comes down to preference, But with the info given, this was the answer. In your case you might to differ from it, but you have a valid reason :)
    – Martijn
    Oct 14, 2014 at 20:26

I am not having a deep knowledge of this implementation as i have not performed it yet on any of the client's site, but i think i can help you. So, here you go:

You need to make a 301 redirect on all the URLs in .htaccess One thing that need to make sure is the sitemap of the site.You need to change with all the new URLs with HTTPS Make sure that all the internal pages are using https protocol and no one is referred to http

This 301 redirect will actually help Google bots know that the site has been redirected to https conversion and is not the new one. Through this, all the traffic and the link juice will be given to new https version.

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