Client went to https, but also went to non-www. from www.domainname.com

HoosierBuff

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Dec 12, 2013
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Hi All,

One quick question. I had a client that suddenly went to https without telling me, but, they also went from Home - www.domainname.com to Home - domainname.com

Google has gone out of the way to communicate that these kinds of changes are not to be penalized anymore (at least, http to https). I'm not sure if they meant ALL types of redirects.

My advice to my client is to move it back to the original subdomain, with the https. My question is, am I being too sensitive? Will they be ok just as is?

I just think, you can't risk it with these sorts of things, and even though Google says one thing, and their outward pronouncements may be correct, I don't want to misinterpret it - or apply it to a different situation.

(and, I'm kind of pissed at myself for not noticing the www. non www issue)
 

djbaxter

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Switching to https may result in a temporary period of time where re-indexing needs to be redone. The change from www may also cause that. But it shouldn't last more than a few months. The switch to https is absolutely a good idea and you may as well take care of the other switch at the same time.

Make sure the redirects are done correctly. Make sure you make the correct corrections to the preferred version in GMB, etc.
 

Eric Rohrback

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Make sure they did the switch right as well. Crawl the site and look for any mismatched internal links. The biggest fails i've seen is in migrations like this where the team implementing overlooked something major.

Switching both protocols will kill the site if it was done incorrectly. Cover all bases by crawling, identifying any missed links, redirecting the old versions, and then of course fixing the internal links so they're coded correctly on the site. No use in sending users through redirects if it's not needed. Also check for redirect loops/chains when you do that.

Basically anything you look at and think "well... duh of course you need to do that," check anyway. You wouldn't believe how many "basic" things experienced webmasters miss. If they had a quality assurance (QA) checklist when making the changes - which they should have if they were organized - then ask for that too. It's always good to double check what passed or failed QA.

For your question, "My advice to my client is to move it back to the original subdomain, with the https. My question is, am I being too sensitive? Will they be ok just as is?"

Depends. All depends on the rationale for the subdomain switch and whether it was implemented correctly.
 

Tim Colling

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I'd also add these suggestions:

Claim all four versions of their URL in four different Google Search Console accounts and then indicate to GSC which one is the preferred version (the non-www https one).

For the preferred one, in that one's GSC, do these things:
  • Add a sitemap and test it
  • Do a Fetch and Render
  • Request Indexing on the completed fetch and render
 

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