Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by David Mason on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Monday, August 18, 2014).

Did I miss an announcement about a recent Google update? I dropped from 4 to 10 on the 1st page of Google`s SERP

Hi, All.
Did I miss an announcement about a recent Google update? I dropped from 4 to 10 on the 1st page of Google`s SERP. Wondering what`s going on. Only 1 new site listed in the SERP. I`ve changed nothing to cause this drop. Thanks!?

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YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • David Mason: Hi, All.
    Did I miss an announcement about a recent Google update? I dropped from 4 to 10 on the 1st page of Google's SERP. Wondering what's going on. Only 1 new site listed in the SERP. I've changed nothing to cause this drop. ;Thanks!
  • Greg Baka: Does your site target Local search results, or is it national?
  • David Mason: National/international
  • Greg Baka: Hi  ; - ; I have heard rumors of recent Pigeon (local) changes. But nothing about Penguin or Panda.

    Did you check GWT to see if you have unusual new backlinks?
  • David Mason: Hmm. I'll look into that. I just read an article on MOZ, and I see that HTTPS is now a mild ranking factor as of Aug 6. My site has moved from http to https in the last month or so, so I wonder if, perhaps, I am missing something. Perhaps I need to do a change of address in GWT; tell it I've moved (although I have configured my server to redirect com http to https). I am using a plugin to handle all redirects for any subdirectories. Don't know if that's a negative or not. Thanks!
  • Greg Baka: Migrating to HTTPS appears to have a few SEO boobytraps to avoid. Not declaring it as your preferred domain in GWT is probably one of them...
  • David Mason: Thanks,  ;. So, now that I've added my HTTPS to GWT, can you give me a pointer in how to declare it my preferred domain? Thanks!
  • Ian Dixon: chances are that your ranking will drop even further if you just switch everything to https
    It is a different site to the http one in the mind of Google so far from a simple move
  • Greg Baka: Hello again  ; - well, I thought Google would have added it as an option on the Preferred Domain menu, but they didn't. Another https boobytrap...

    It looks like you can do it on the &quot;Change of Address&quot; page (accessed from the gear icon dropdown menu) <b>But check credible guides before doing this</b> ; I have not done a https switch yet myself, so I am just guessing here.
  • Tony McCreath: A change of address for a simple https switch is not possible at the moment. But the main thing to do is the 301 redirects.
  • David Mason: Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.
  • David Mason: So, follow-up question.
    I&#39;ve added an engine rewrite to  ;my .htaccess file with this code:

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteRule ^apache-redirect-http-to-&#39;https\.html$&#39; &#39; [R=301,L]&#39;

    I added backticks to try and preserve the code and keep this from being flagged.

    That said, do I still need to manually add 301 redirects for every page? I&#39;m using a plugin to handle that, called &quot;Wordpress HTTPS&quot;

    Thanks, Guys.
  • Greg Baka: Logically, a blanket redirect like this means you do not also need to 301 every page. But I&#39;m curious to hear what others say.

    Do you have a canonical tag on each page that points to the page it is on? If so, you should change those to https....
    (I call those self-referential canonical tags, but not sure if that is an official name or just something I made up. I find them to be useful)
  • David Mason: That&#39;s what I thought,  ;
  • Edwin Jonk: From the expert panel in this weeks SEO Questions hangout on air on 00:19:18 into the YouTube video:

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View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Monday, August 18, 2014).

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