301 or 302 Redirect to HTTPS to Avoid PageRank Loss

A major concern that people have expressed concerning switching to HTTPS is related to whether there is the possibility of experiencing some PageRank loss, no matter how small. This is suspected to happen when redirecting all your web pages to the HTTPS version from the HTTP version. Nobody after all wants to implement the switch just to get the minor boost in terms of ranking when potentially they could lose more as a result of losing their link values arising from the redirect.

What Really Happens?

Experts who have posted a couple of HTTPS Q&A have specifically brought up the concerns associated with PageRank loss, and they have confirmed that indeed that you will not experience PageRank loss or what is known as “link juice” loss as a result of redirecting to HTTPS. The available Google data reveal that for redirects involving 301 or 302 to HTTPS from HTTP there is no PageRank loss. It is important to note that this only happens for 302 or 301 redirects. Although you still could perform a meta tag redirect, a possibility is ever present that you could experience a bit of loss to your link value. However, because HTTPS switching is pretty technical, it might be quite surprising to see anybody utilising the meta redirect.

The Existing Confusion

Some confusion exists about PageRank loss via 301 redirect, even though this usually applies to offsite redirects. This could be attributed to the fact some PageRank losses could have happened before the current massive Google drive to HTTPS as well as the announced boost in terms of ranking that went along with the push. It therefore makes sense that Google desires to incentivise shifting to HTTPS without seeing any loss in PageRank for a straight 301 or 3012 redirect to HTTPS from HTTP on the same domain.

Is it only a HTTP to HTTPS Case Scenario?

This is not yet very clear, and since Google these days isn’t known for making lots of comments that is specific to PageRank, mainly because the publicly available PageRank metric is out of date for many years. This is also as a result of PageRank being out of date for long, whenever you make the move to HTTPs, your PageRank toolbar won’t follow. Remember that even though Google still updates and maintains an internal Google PageRank metric, experts have not observed any new changes to what is publicly seen by SEOs for PageRank in many years. Final Word Having observed the above, PageRank potential loss is among the things cited by SEOs as the reason for not switching. Therefore, to experience zero PageRank loss as a result of switching to HTTPS from HTTP makes lot of business sense, for the reason that people still remain deeply obsessed with how their PageRank stands.


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