Google: use 301 redirects when switching from HTTP to HTTPS

Google’s John Mueller said in a webmaster hangout on YouTube, that you should stick with simple 301 redirects when migrating your website from HTTP to HTTPS.

If you use other status codes such as 303 then Google might think that it is not a generic site move to HTTPS and the move will take a lot longer.

“We strongly recommend to use clean 301 redirects from on a per URL basis for HTTP migrations.

So you can use other types of redirects but the 301 redirect is really the one that we watch out for. And if we can recognize that it’s really a clean migration from HTTP to HTTPS, that all of the old URLs have moved to the new one, that you’re not removing things, that you’re not noindexing or robots.txt disallowing pages differently on HTTPS.

Then that makes a lot easier for us to trust that as a kind of this one big thing of a site move that is moving from HTTP to HTTPS.

So the clearer you can tell us that this is really just a generic move and we don’t have to think about any of the details, the more likely we can just switch that over without you seeing any big change at all.

If you start using other kind of HTTPS result codes for redirects then that makes it such that we have to reconsider and think ‘well, are they doing something unique here that’s not just a generic site move?’

And then, at that point, we have to reprocess really each URL individually and think like ‘well, what is the webmaster trying to do here in this specific case.’ And that makes these moves take a lot longer and makes it a lot harder for us to just pass on all of the signals to the new version of the site.”

You can view the video here:

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Johannes Selbach

Johannes Selbach is the CEO of SEOprofiler. He blogs about search engine optimization and website marketing topics at "http://blog.seoprofiler.com".