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Google: “Always Try” To Replace HTTP Links With HTTPS

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Google: “Always Try” To Replace HTTP Links With HTTPS

Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller says you should always try to replace internal links pointing to HTTP URLs with the newer HTTP versions.

This is stated in a Reddit thread asking if it’s worth the effort to replace internal HTTP links with HTTPS versions, even when there are already redirects.

Several years ago, Google’s Gary Illyes said replacing links isn’t worth it when proper redirects are in place:

Now, Mueller says it’s “always” worth doing. Thankfully, as other commenters in the thread state, mass replacing HTTP internal links isn’t hard to do.

Here’s what Mueller says about replacing HTTP with HTTPS links and how to do it.

Replacing Internal HTTP Links With HTTP Versions

Mueller gives two reasons for replacing old HTTP internal links.

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First, it’s cleaner than having a bunch of redirects. And, unlike external links, you have complete control over the URL visitors are sent to.

Mueller states:

“I’d always try to fix internal links, it just makes things cleaner, and is under your own control. I doubt it would have any visible effect though.”

Replacing HTTP internal links likely won’t have a noticeable impact on search rankings, as Mueller says, but it’s worth doing.

Why?

Changing the links, rather than relying on redirects, can positively affect webpage performance.

Anyone clicking on a link that redirects to HTTPS has to go through the HTTP version first. Getting rid of the extra ‘hop’ means visitors get to the content faster.

In addition, relying on redirects for internal links is a fool’s errand. Many things can go wrong, such as redirect chains, redirect loops, and broken links.

If a site loads images with HTTP URLs, it can cause browsers to give visitors a “not secure” error message, deterring them from staying on your site.

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Redirects eat your crawl budget because every redirect counts as a page crawled. Google can potentially crawl more pages per session without the redirects in place.

Lastly, you can’t depend on redirects working indefinitely. Redirects can break or get deleted while replacing the links ensures they’re changed forever.

With that said, here’s some information about mass replacing internal links.

Mass Replacing Internal Links

It’s not hard to replace internal links automatically, but the method varies depending on how your site is built.

Mass replacing internal links is as simple as running a find and replace in the database. You can change every reference to an HTTP URL to the HTTP version in one fell swoop.

If you have a WordPress site, several plugins make this task easy, such as Better Search Replace.

However, if you’re not comfortable making significant changes like this, I advise speaking with your developer first.

Keep in mind there’s always a risk of your site breaking when you make changes on a mass scale, so it’s essential to save a backup you can revert to.

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Source: Reddit

Featured Image: astel design/Shutterstock

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Decoded Headless CMS & SEO

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Decoded Headless CMS & SEO

What is headless CMS? Why are more companies looking into it nowadays?

Powered by greater flexibility and scalability, it might be the next generation of content management systems.

Lidia Infante, Senior SEO Manager at Sanity.io, joined me on the SEJ Show to explain how headless CMS works and how it can be particularly beneficial for ecommerce businesses.

I don’t have to build every page. I create the content in a core database, a central source of truth. And then, I deploy it following a template.–Lidia Infante, [16:00]

I think there’s a little bit of a misconception about headless. A lot of people out there, the conversations I’m having with people that are not tech SEOs is they feel that just utilizing a headless means that it’s automatically going to be faster, quicker, and a better experience. –Loren Baker, [25:15]

For most ecommerce sites, I would recommend going with a headless solution, especially if you’re on a direct-to-consumer side with a big brand.–Lidia Infante, [45:09]

[00:00] – Lidia’s background.
[10:36] – What is headless CMS & how is it helpful?
[17:20] – Do you build from scratch in a headless environment?
[22:00] – Are headless CMS quicker?
[26:00] – SEO optimizations in headless.
[31:30] – Other benefits of using a headless CMS system.
[36:00] – How well does AI content rank in it?
[39:52] – Where does Lidia see headless going in the next four to five years?
[44:45] – What kind of business should look into headless CMS?
[49:59] – How important is JavaScript?

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Resources mentioned:
https://www.sanity.io/shopify
https://www.sanity.io/sej – Free boosted Sanity plan for SEJ readers
https://www.dangler.co.uk/

Regarding SEO and other stuff you can do, I think the main pain point that Headless solves is content velocity.–Lidia Infante, [28:00]

Headless CMS can guide you a little bit more when it comes to optimizing web performance. Different headless CMSs will help you achieve amazing core web vitals differently.–Lidia Infante, [26:19]

B2C brands need to ensure that the experience they provide on their website is not the typical ecommerce experience of title, product, picture, price, and description. It’s more similar to the experience they can provide in a shop. –Lidia Infante

For more content like this, subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/searchenginejournal

Connect with Lidia Infante:

Lidia Infante is a consultant, writer, and speaker who has been working to help businesses grow their reach through SEO in European markets, the US, and Australia.

She got her start on the business side of things through psychology, allowing for organic growth strategies that are now driving ecommerce sites’ success!

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As part of her passion for SEO, she enjoys regularly participating in podcasts and webinars in the SEO community. She writes about international strategy, digital business, and women’s rights on her website.

Connect with Lidia on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lidiainfante/
Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LidiaInfanteM
Visit her website: https://www.lidia-infante.com/

Connect with Loren Baker, Founder of Search Engine Journal:

Follow him on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/lorenbaker
Connect with him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorenbaker

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