Keylime Toolbox http to https Migration SEO-Focused Checklist
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TO USE, JUST MAKE A COPY!
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See the Keylime Toolbox HTTP to HTTPS SEO-Focused Migration Reference Guide for details on each task.
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https://www.keylimetoolbox.com/news/moving-http-https-step-step-guide-avoiding-seo-pitfalls-maximizing-google-organic-traffic/
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For monitoring your migration, check out a free trial of Keylime Toolbox:
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https://www.keylimetoolbox.com/editions-pricing/
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Questions? Just ask at hello@keylimetoolbox.com
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StatusComponentTaskPriorityNotes
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Technical infrastructureImprove crawl efficiency (if the site is very large and the crawl is inefficient)optionalhttps://www.keylimetoolbox.com/news/googlebots-crawl-budget-impacts-sites-visibility-search-results-can-improve/
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Technical infrastructure301 redirect http URLs to https URLshigh
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Technical infrastructureConsolidate and update existing redirect rules to minimize redirect chainsoptionalThe http to https redirect will add to any existing redirect chains (Google recommends less than 5)
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6033086
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Technical infrastructureUpdate internal links from http to httpslowimproves page load time and crawl efficiency
https://www.seroundtable.com/google-link-https-20552.html
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Technical infrastructureUpdate canonical attribute valueshighhttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/139066
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Technical infrastructureUpdate pagination attribute values (if applicable)highhttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/1663744
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Technical infrastructureUpdate rel alternate hreflang values (if applicable)highhttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/189077
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Technical infrastructureUpdate rel alternate media values (if applicable)highhttps://developers.google.com/search/mobile-sites/mobile-seo/separate-urls
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Technical infrastructureUpdate structured markup (such as breadcrumbs, videos, sitelink searchbox, rich cards, etc.) (if applicable)highhttps://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/
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Technical infrastructureMove all resources to https (such as CSS files and images)highhttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6073543
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Technical infrastructureUpdate all source code to reference https resourceshighhttps://plus.google.com/u/0/+IlyaGrigorik/posts/C7YczpsaJCn
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Technical infrastructureMove/copy the http robots.txt file to the https propertyhigh
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Technical infrastructureUpdate the robots.txt file with the revised location of the XML Sitemap or Sitemap index fileoptionalhttps://www.sitemaps.org/protocol.html#submit_robots
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Technical infrastructure301 redirect or 404 the robots.txt file on the http propertyhighIf you block the http URLs with robots.txt, Google won't be able to crawl the redirects.
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Technical infrastructureEnsure web analytics tags aren't removed during the migration (or update them if needed)optionalCritical for analytics and monitoring
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Technical infrastructureCreate XML Sitemaps for the https (ideally canonical and comprehensive)mediumNot required, but provide an important crawling signal and useful monitoring metrics
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Google Search ConsoleVerify https property in Google Search ConsoleoptionalRequired if you plan to use Google Search Console
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6033085
https://www.seroundtable.com/google-webmaster-tools-http-https-19965.html
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Google Search ConsoleCreate a property set in Google Search Console that contains the http and https propertyoptionalUseful for tracking aggregated data; each user has to create the property set (you can't share them between accounts)
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6338828
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Google Search ConsoleConfigure URL parameter handling in Google Search Console for the https property to mirror the configuration for the http propertyoptionalIf the site is very large and uses many optional parameters, configuring these can improve crawl efficiency and speed up the indexing process
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6080550
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Google Search ConsoleConfigure international targeting for the https (if set for the http)optionalhttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/62399
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Google Search ConsoleSet the preferred domain (www or non-www)https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/44231
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Google Search ConsoleUpload any disavow files to the https property that had been uploaded to the http property (if applicabe)optionalhttps://www.seroundtable.com/google-disavow-https-21031.html
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Google Search ConsoleSet the crawl rate for the https property (if this was customized for the http propertyoptionalhttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/48620
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Google Search ConsoleSubmit the https XML Sitemaps (and don't remove the http XML Sitemaps)optionalNot required, but provide an important crawling signal and useful monitoring metrics
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QACrawl the site to ensure all migration steps were completedhigh
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QACheck sample list of redirects using Fetch as Google and/or a third party toolhighhttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/6066468
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QAUse Google Search Console to compare before and after indexing, rankings, click through rate, and clicks, as well as any issues Googlebot is having crawlinghighhttps://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/2642366
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35120
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QAUse web analytics to monitor overall traffic during the migrationhigh
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QAMonitor server logs to ensure Googlebot is getting redirects correctly and is crawling the expected URLshighhttps://www.keylimetoolbox.com/crawl-analytics/
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QAUse Keylime Toolbox to monitor number of queries, ranking, click through rate, and traffic by query type (branded, unbranded, and topic-level)optionalhttps://www.keylimetoolbox.com/migrating-http-https/
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