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When going HTTPS, don’t forget about local citations!
Columnist Andrew Shotland shares some common problems that occur during site migrations to HTTPS and explains the importance of updating your citations.
Migrating your site to HTTPS is all the rage these days. Google is on the record as saying that using “https” in your URLs can give a site a ranking boost.
That said, going HTTPS has its share of SEO challenges. Here are but a few of the HTTPS horror stories we have witnessed over the past year:
- Sites go HTTPS and don’t redirect or canonicalize the HTTP URLs to their HTTPS versions.
- Sites go HTTPS without telling the SEO team, who freak out when they check into Google Search Console and see branded traffic has started to tank (Hint: check the HTTPS profile in Google Search Console that no one set up because you forgot to tell the SEO team).
- Sites go HTTPS without making the site truly secure. For example, if you are serving your CSS file from an HTTP URL, you will need to update the CSS URLs to HTTPS. If you don’t do this, your browser may start to show an insecure warning like this:
- Even worse, Google may start showing insecure site warnings next to your URLs in search results — a nice way to depress CTR, if that’s what you’re into…
- Sites go HTTPS, get some links to HTTPS URLs, and then revert back to HTTP for whatever reason. Now, whenever someone clicks on one of those HTTPS links, they are going to get an “insecure!” warning like this:
Things can get complicated when you’re trying to keep track of all of the technical best practices, particularly if you’re working on migrating a huge, complicated site with multiple teams and vendors, which is often the case with multi-location brands.
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