Someone raised an interesting question in today’s Google Webmaster Office Hours today. The question was about how links lose a bit of their value when they go through a redirect. When switching a site from HTTP to HTTPS, it means an entire site will have to go through a redirect, so will the link loss value from all those links and redirects impact the site’s rankings when the switch to HTTPS is made?
First, John Mueller does confirm that there is a loss in value of each link when it goes through a redirect.
It is true that there is a very small bit of value that kind of gets lost with any kind of redirect there.
Mueller also stresses that the value of going secure outweighs the slight link loss within a site, and that it shouldn’t even be visible.
But if you are doing this within your website, that’s not something you really need to worry about. So if you are redirecting from HTTP to HTTPS then that’s definitely not something that I would see as holding me back from moving to a secure protocol, to making my site a little bit more secure for my users.
So that’s definitely not something where you’d expect to see any kind of visible change or say my site has dropped in ranking because I redirected it, that’s definitely not going to happen.
That said, anytime Googlebot has to recrawl and reindex a site, there are going to be some fluctuations while this happens. A site definitely won’t maintain their exact rankings immediately after the switch to HTTPS, but Gary Illyes confirmed in August that webmasters shouldn’t see a negative impact lasting longer than 1-2 weeks after making the switch to HTTPS.
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