When switching our website from HTTP to HTTPS, things went catastrophic:

  • Page impressions went down from average 60 (peak 110) to below 10 (per day).
  • Traffic from search engines dropped to zero.
  • In other words, we became almost invisible on Google.

What caveats may we have missed?

This is what we did:

  • Using a commercial SSL certificate (i.e. no self-signed or CAcert)
  • Using the exact same domain name as before (i.e. no "www." before and after)
  • Using 301 redirects for each HTTP page to its HTTPS version
  • Internal links are all relative URLs (before and after)
  • Same content, except for chaging "link rel=canonical" URLs from HTTP to HTTPS
  • Google webmaster tools don't show anything suspicious.
  • robots.txt is unchanged, containts just two lines User-agent: * and Disallow: /wp-admin/ (The last one is a leftover. there is no Wordpress running. These are static, cleaned-up pages)

As far as I can tell, we did everything that is recommended by SEO blogs and other StackExchange answers (such as https://webmasters.stackexchange.com/a/68089/48957).


Thanks for all helpful comments!

Technically, everything was correct. However, it was necessary to add the HTTPS website as a new entry to GWT. Then, the old HTTP entry still had the dropping impressions, but the new HTTPS entry caught on and now has as many impression as the old HTTP entry had before.

  • Did you change your managed sites or look at Google's webmaster tools? The answer might be there.
    – Rob
    Jan 16, 2015 at 14:23
  • @Rob: Yes, we did. Thanks for the hint, I added it to the post.
    – vog
    Jan 16, 2015 at 14:30
  • 1
    Over what time period are your 60 page views? Per minute, per hour, per day? Jan 16, 2015 at 14:48
  • 1
    @StephenOstermiller: Per day. robots.txt is unchanged, see description. Addeded both to description, thanks.
    – vog
    Jan 16, 2015 at 14:59
  • 2
    Everything you have listed here looks fine. Can you include a link to your site that we can look over for anything unexpected? Jan 16, 2015 at 20:23