Things to keep in mind if you are working on a website and have your traffic drop after switching to HTTPS
Before I continue I want to make sure I address two points to make sure we’re on the same page.
First, by switching to HTTPS/SSL security on your website, you will sometimes experience a drop in the amount of indexed urls you had.
Secondly, You should always consider implementing SSL on your website. As a matter of fact the earlier the better. While, it’s true that not all websites will need to have SSL implemented, but for those that are housing personal information such as a user login data, and e-mail MUST absolutely consider using SSL.
About a few months ago I started working on optimizing the traffic to one of my website and things started to turn around. People started to find and visit the website on a daily basis. I was getting pretty good amount of traffic for a brand new site.
Use Google Search Console
Using Google search console, I setup the site, and submitted my links regularly. Gradually over time I could see most of the links submitted were being indexed. Well, I have this feature that requires payment to be accepted on the site, therefore, I had to make sure the site was secured.
The traffic drop after switching to HTTPS in no time
After I switched the paid feature and switch on to HTTPS, I started noticing a drop in the organic traffic to the site.
So, I went straight to the Google Search Console to analyse the traffic, and indeed, when I check the coverage tab, It was reported that my website search results essentially dropped to almost zero with only 30 valid urls and 420 excluded.
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I was curious to learn more about those 420 excluded links, when I drilled down more into this, I noticed about 307 of pages were being excluded due to “Page with redirect”.
I researched the web about possible cause of that issue knowing that I recently updated the site from HTTP to HTTPS and I have never setup any 301 redirects on these urls.
Start Tracking the correct domain
If you find yourself in the same situation don’t panic. The issue simple and easy fix. What happened was that Google was tracking the regular links on the site and a user lands on those pages, they are being redirected to the secured links. Therefore, those regular links are dropped from being indexed. However, Google still tracking the secured links. In order to view the report on them, all you have to do is add the secured url to Google search console. It should show the correct stats about your indexes.
Right after the update on the Google Search Console, I was able to re-index and track the https://domain and I could see that site is indeed still showing up in the searches.