3

There are several reports of migration to HTTPS (using 301 redirects and HSTS) without an impact to rankings (no fluctations).

Since that seems like changing URL structure I'm thinking to migrate

http://www.example.com/cost-of-living/city_result.jsp?country=Germany&city=Berlin 

to more friendly URLs like

https://www.example.com/cost-of-living/in/Berlin
https://www.example.com/cost-of-living/in/Geneva-IL-United-States

But Google do not really recommend changing the URL structure:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YL4sdTcUJzo#t=1301 (they say fluctuations are possible)

Are there some recent tests (user cases) which show that it might not be a good idea to migrate the URL structure and only do HTTP to HTTPS URL change?

SeoMoz to Moz migration showed that 301 change of domains and URLs went very smoothly.

  • Aside: Why introduce, what appears to be a superfluous, path segment in the "friendly URL"... ie. /in/? – MrWhite Sep 14 '16 at 12:20
  • I'm using Java/Servlets technology so I already have jsp mapped to /cost-of-living/ I could create a mapping /cost-of-living/* although for cities, however, I think /cost-of-living/in/* would be cleaner from the implementation point of view since I already have other mappings like /cost-of-living/city_history etc. But it could work /cost-of-living/* mapping since it should match the highest string according to Servlet spec. download.oracle.com/otn-pub/jcp/servlet-3.0-fr-oth-JSpec/… – Mladen Adamovic Sep 14 '16 at 16:13
  • But @w3dk when you mentioned, in could be a stop word from the point of search engines, so it might or might not be better to include it in the URL of not, from the point of user readability not much difference – Mladen Adamovic Sep 14 '16 at 16:15
1

You should strongly consider going ahead with the restructured URL, since it is written much cleaner and would give better SEO results. The http to https is not really going to affect you, as long as you properly use a 301 redirect. Like so.

.htaccess method:

RewriteEngine On 
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example\.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{SERVER_PORT} 80 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.example.com/$1 [R,L]

What I strongly suggest is creating a sitemap and submitting it to Google via Webmaster Tools. Which you can learn more and how to from Google. Submit a sitemap to Google Search Console

  • 1
    "would give better SEO results." - This is unlikely to improve SEO, in fact, by changing the URL structure you will more likely see a ranking drop - at least initially. User-friendly URLs benefit users, click-through rates etc. Reference: Google blog - Dynamic URLs vs static URLs. Also, your mod_rewrite directives are not correct... you need an OR flag on your first RewriteCond directive, otherwise a URL like http://www.example.com will not be redirected to https. This should also be a R=301 redirect. – MrWhite Sep 14 '16 at 12:07

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