Sunday, January 27, 2013

HTTPS and drop in Google Web Master Tools Impressions

Switched site to HTTPS and impressions and visits plummeted

In an attempt to resolve the (No Provided) issue in Google Analytics I have switched our site Kingston Search Engine Optimization [yes I am doing SEO backlinking there :)] to HTTPS and experienced a massive drop in impressions and visits.

Google Analytics reported no change in actual visits so the issue was left alone to hopefully sort itself out; but it didn't. By the way switching to HTTPS will not resolve the missing keywords in GA, if you analyze the browser requests you will notice Google just plainly strips them from the referral header information.

Solution to HTTPS impression drop

This was a mystery for a while until today when I found a solution which is very simple. By default Google Web Master Tools creates and tracks sites under HTTP protocol, and treats HTTPS as different sites entirely, just like it treats www.webdesign.danols.com and webdesign.danols.com as separate sites. Creating a new entry through 'Add a Site' and including the protocol resolves the issue, ex. 'https://webdesign.danols.com'; and luckily Google Web Master Tools will keeps all the history data from before the HTTPS switch.

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