It’s been a while since my last post on here (over 4 months – yikes!) but I thought I’d quickly put this out there based on a recent private Facebook group interaction. A few people said it was a good tip, so I thought it’d be a good idea to blog about it just in case anyone else encounters the issue as well…
A friend of mine added me to a private SEO group on Facebook and subsequently posted asking the group for advice. His client had just migrated their website from HTTP to HTTPS (something I’ve written about before by the way, if you’re looking for a guide) but unusually the Google Search Console (GSC) profile for the HTTP version (e.g. “http://www.example.com/”) was still showing data in its Search Analytics section and he couldn’t figure out how or why.
Funnily enough, I’d just had this exact issue with a client of mine so I chipped in with my experience. The culprit? That cheeky canonical! *shakes fist*
Short version: if you’re migrating from HTTP to HTTPS, making sure your canonical URLs follow suit, i.e. they all reference HTTPS versions of the URLs, not HTTP versions!
Seems obvious, right? And it might be. But it’s worth
double-triple-checking just in case they don’t behave as expected, especially if you have some that have been manually configured in the past (in which case they may not simply auto-update in conjunction with your migration efforts).
For more detailed info, read on…
That pesky canonical tho
First things first, my friend didn’t reveal his client, and I’m under an NDA with my client, so this is going to be an entirely anonymous anecdote. Sorry!
A canonical URL tells search engines that the page you’re serving is the ‘primary’ version of the URL, which is a good way to side-step potential duplicate content issues. There’s a good guide on canonicals over on Moz if you’re new to the concept and want to learn more about it.