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XenForo On HTTPS -> Did it affect Google Rankings?

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by TheBigK, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. TheBigK

    TheBigK Well-Known Member

    I see that XF is fully on HTTPS. I've been planning to move my site to HTTPS as well; but the only thing that's holding me from switching is the fear that all the 301s I'll need.

    In 2011, when we moved our site from vB (+vBSEO) to XF; we suffered a lot because of the traffic going down ~50% (even with all the 301 redirects in place).

    The 'sane' thing to do is to remain with http; but in future we'll need to move to https. Would love to know whether XF's traffic has been affected after the move.
  2. Mike

    Mike XenForo Developer Staff Member

    Not seeing any real difference.
    TheBigK likes this.
  3. RoldanLT

    RoldanLT Well-Known Member

    301 Redirect from old vbulletin url to xenforo structured url is way too much different than http > https redirect.
    So should not suffer any loss.
    TheBigK likes this.
  4. TheBigK

    TheBigK Well-Known Member

    Aren't the URLs different? Even if a letter changes, we land on an entirely different location. Would really love to have opinions from admins/owners who've switched from http to https.
  5. RoldanLT

    RoldanLT Well-Known Member

    2 year old video
  6. TheBigK

    TheBigK Well-Known Member

    Here's an older one from Matt -

    basically says 'I damn don't know'.

    I'd trust more on experiences shared by people than Matt Cutts. I've nothing against him; but his advise doesn't always work as it should. (n)
  7. Brogan

    Brogan XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Matt Cutts should stick to his day job.

    Oh wait...
    Amin Sabet, thumped and The Sandman like this.
  8. RoldanLT

    RoldanLT Well-Known Member

    That's 2011 video.
    It's already 2014 now :)
  9. RoldanLT

    RoldanLT Well-Known Member

  10. TheBigK

    TheBigK Well-Known Member

    I agree that it's an old video. My entire concern is about 301s affecting the site's performance. I have already read the blog post from Google. I'm concerned about real life experiences from web masters who've switched from http to https with proper 301 redirects.

    Frankly speaking; Google's theory is different and practicals are different. We did suffer huge traffic loss for over ~3 years even after following Google's instructions and setting up proper redirects from our old vBSEO setup. If I get 100% responses that say 'the traffic wasn't affected', I'm all game for HTTPS. Else - I'd rather rank #3 or #4 than aiming for #2 or #1 with HTTPS over the rivals.
  11. Ridemonkey

    Ridemonkey Well-Known Member

    Out of curiosity, and slightly off topic, did your traffic drop happen immediately/almost immediately, or did it slowly trail off over time?
  12. RoldanLT

    RoldanLT Well-Known Member

    Looks like the migration from vb to xf is not the reason, Google SEO has a lot of factors to consider.
    Maybe you are affected by Google Panda, Penguin Update.
  13. TheBigK

    TheBigK Well-Known Member

    It began going down in a day or two after we made the switch. It was surprising for us; and I personally expected it to go down over a period of 1-2 weeks and then recover in about 3-4 months as Google indexed everything again.

    Maybe. But the traffic went down almost after we made the switch. That's a different debate, I believe.

    I'm looking for experiences of people who've made the switch; preferably all the XF owners with at least 50K visitors / month.
  14. melbo

    melbo Well-Known Member

    Switched to full https in March and saw no downward change in traffic. We forced all urls to www and https with a 301.
    ForestForTrees likes this.
  15. Rigel Kentaurus

    Rigel Kentaurus Well-Known Member

    I have a similar experience.

    I switched 2 sites to https, back when it didn't matter at all for SEO purposes, but I was afraid that it would impact organic traffic due to the change in URL even when a redirection 80 -> 443 was in place.

    This was done last May, and here are the traffic results
    Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 1.28.36 AM.png

    Nothing significant, either positive or negative.

    I am now waiting to see if being through https will result in a net increase of traffic now that the rules have changed (even a 1% would be nice), but I am not holding any hopes.

    I'm kind of sad of seeing people now wanting to switch because of the SEO. I did it for the security. I was not feeling confortable with the idea that the forum session could be hijacked at any time in an extremely easy way.
    ForestForTrees likes this.
  16. RoldanLT

    RoldanLT Well-Known Member

    I did it not because of SEO, but because of SPDY 3.1 ;)
    eva2000 likes this.
  17. Chris D

    Chris D XenForo Developer Staff Member

    I did too and to be consistent with the experience when compared to this site where a lot of my traffic would come from. Payments aren't handled at my site directly, you are sent off to PayPal, of course, but I think if you're selling products or services you should still make an effort to ensure the overall experience is safe.
  18. Jeffin

    Jeffin Well-Known Member

    Is SPDY easy to install and run with Xenforo? How is your experience with SPDY? Any downsides?
  19. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    I've changed two XF installs to https over the years, and there were zero changes in traffic during those times.
    ForestForTrees likes this.
  20. TheBigK

    TheBigK Well-Known Member

    I'd really appreciate if someone could brief the exacts steps involved in migrating the site. I think we can give it a try as well. Are there any special considerations we need to make before we decide on switching (with respect to add ons / structure etc.)?

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