No Link Authority Loss When Moving from HTTP to HTTPS, Google Confirms

Recently, Google announced that it will prioritise a site’s HTTPS pages by default even when an HTTP equivalent exists. This is reportedly part of the search giant’s efforts to make searching and browsing the Internet much safer for all users and to eventually have everyone landing on a web page with a private connection.

Understandably, many businesses and SEO practitioners have expressed concern about Google’s announcement. They fear that updating their web pages from HTTP to HTTPS could cause them to lose link authority as a result of inbound links to HTTP pages no longer being counted. Two of Google’s top officers immediately released a statement to ease everyone’s fear and concerns.

In a comment posted on Google+, Google webmaster trends analyst John Mueller explained that there will be no loss of link authority when moving HTTP to HTTPS. “If we have two URLs (eg, http/https) that we know are duplicates, and we pick one over the other, then we’ll generally fold the signals together into that URL. It’s like www/non-www, you don’t “lose” the links that point at the alternate version, even if you don’t set up redirects,” Mueller wrote.

Mueller also clarified that site owners migrating to HTTPS need not do “anything special” to make sure that any inbound link to the http version of the web pages will remain acknowledged. He also explained that if you are redirecting, the links will automatically redirect.

Mueller’s statement was also confirmed by Gary Illyes, also a Google webmaster trends analyst, on Twitter. When asked by Brent Csutoras of Search Engine Journal if Google is considering allowing full authority to pass from HTTP to HTTPs when redirecting, Illyes replied in the affirmative. “We don’t have “authority,” but signals should pass on, yes,” he tweeted.

In a Facebook comment, Illyes provided more insight on how Google is planning to handle site moves in the future. According to him, it is a priority for the tech giant to make the process of moving sites from HTTP to HTTPS, particularly those that involve 301 redirects, less complicated for SEOs and site owners.

“I don’t want to pre-announce anything.., but making site moves easier and more transparent is high on our list of priorities. I’ll still have to test it (with an indexing experiment), but 301 site moves shouldn’t cause any loss, same domain or not,” Illyes wrote.

With two of Google’s top webmaster trends analysts allaying everyone’s fears, there is no reason for a small business owner like you to delay efforts to move your site from HTTP to HTTPS.

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