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Cyrus Shepard
Works at Moz
Attended University of Southern California
Lives in Seattle, WA
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Cyrus Shepard

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Great technical HTTPS migration tips from Google's  +John Mueller 
Planning on moving to HTTPS? Here are 13 FAQs! What's missing? Let me know in the comments and I'll expand this over time, perhaps it's even worth a blog post or help center article. Note that these are specific to moving an existing site from HTTP to HTTPS on the same hostname. Also remember to check out our help center at

# Do I need to set something in Search Console? No, just add the HTTPS site there. The change-of-address setting doesn't apply for HTTP -> HTTPS moves.

# How can we do an A/B test? Don't cloak to Googlebot specifically, use 302 redirects + rel=canonical to HTTP if you want to test HTTPS but not have it indexed. Don't block via robots.txt . More about A/B testing at (302 redirects aren't cached.)

# Will the rel=canonical guarantee that the HTTP URL is indexed? No, but it's a very strong signal when picking the indexed URL.

# What's the next step after testing? Follow our site-move documentation ( ). Use 301 redirects from HTTP to HTTPS, confirm the new version by adding a rel=canonical on the HTTPS page, pointing to itself, and submit sitemaps including both HTTP & HTTPS URLs with new change-dates (in the long run, just keep the HTTPS sitemap).

# What about the robots.txt file? The HTTPS site uses the HTTPS robots.txt file. Check that it's reachable or serves a 404 result code, and check that your HTTP URLs aren't blocked by the HTTP robots.txt file.

# Is it OK to have just some pages on HTTPS? Yes, no problem! Start with a part, test it, add more.

# Should I move everything together, or is it fine to do sections? Moving in sections is fine.

# Will I see a drop in search? Fluctuations can happen with any bigger site change. We can't make any guarantees, but our systems are usually good with HTTP -> HTTPS moves.

# Which certificate do I need? For Google Search, any modern certificate that's accepted by modern browsers is acceptable.

# Do I lose "link juice" from the redirects? No, for 301 or 302 redirects from HTTP to HTTPS no PageRank is lost.

# Will we see search keywords in Google Analytics when we're on HTTPS? This won't change with HTTPS, you can see the search queries in Search Console.

# How can I test how many pages were indexed? Verify HTTP / HTTPS separately in Search Console, use Index Status for a broad look, or the sitemaps indexed counts for sitemap URLs.

# How long will a move from HTTP to HTTPS take? There are no fixed crawl frequencies, it depends on the size of your site, and the speed of crawling that's possible. The move takes place on a per-URL basis.

Hope this helps clarify some of the open questions! Let me know if there's anything missing.

65 comments on original post
Marty Eigner's profile photoJohn Mueller's profile photoMariya Moeva's profile photo
+Marty Eigner 15% sounds like a made-up number :). I wouldn't let PR hold you back from a move like this, which is why we're pretty clear in the FAQ about it. This isn't a fad that will go away, sooner or later you'll have to bite the bullet anyway. For example, for HTTP/2 many browsers require HTTPS for the full functionality. Or, if you want to work on a PWA, you'll need it for service workers. Or, if you want to use AMP with embedded content, you'll need it there. 
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Cyrus Shepard

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Might want to reconsider your mobile app install interstitials!
An update to the mobile-friendly algorithm

Starting today, pages with an app install interstitial that hide a significant amount of content on the transition from the search result page won’t be considered mobile-friendly .

Instead of full page interstitials, we recommend that webmasters use more user-friendly formats such as app install banners. We hope that this change will make it easier for searchers to see the content of the pages they are looking for.

Happy searching!
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Cyrus Shepard

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Public service announcement:
A Look at Moz's Search Traffic 2013-2015 and the Migration to HTTPS

Google recommends moving to HTTPS, but as you can see from our experience (and as we've seen from many others), that migration is similar to the traffic loss during a domain move. We lost ~11% of search traffic for ~3months, and are only now recovering. Long term, we hope this is a win for our SEO and for security, but if you're recommending a migration, be sure to tell your team/boss/client to expect a short-term loss.
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Cyrus Shepard

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Happy to Announce the Release of Search Engine Ranking Factors 2015 by +Moz

I'm excited to announce the results of Moz's biannual Search Engine Ranking Correlation Study and Expert Survey, a.k.a. Ranking Factors.

This is the largest study of this kind we've ever undertaken, including our Expert Survey of over 150 professional search marketers, and a ranking correlation survey of over 17,000 keywords.

In addition to the classic signals we've studied in the past, this time we worked with 3 data partners including +SimilarWeb +Ahrefs and +DomainTools to study additional correlations.

The Expert Survey also includes valuable insight into Google's broad algorithm, negative ranking factors, and the future of search.

Take a look, let us know what you think!
Michael Thorpe's profile photoOtis McGrane's profile photoJennifer Slegg (Jenstar)'s profile photoMary Hill's profile photo
All good. Thanks for catching up +Cyrus Shepard. I'm confused by the study saying that. 
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Cyrus Shepard

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Here's what happened when I Google Deep Dreamed myself and +Marty Weintraub at #mozcon  #woof  
This is web interface for Google Deep Dream. Photos are processed with Google Deep Dream python code with BVLC GoogleNet Model on deep learning framework Caffe on cloud servers.
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Cyrus Shepard

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Prepping for #MozCon
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And here I am buying beans and rice by the bags! argh!
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Have them in circles
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Cyrus Shepard

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New Post: 7 Illustrations of How Topical Links Impact SEO, in Theory and Practice

We explore SEO concepts around topically relevant links, including:
• Hub and authority pages
• Anchor Text
• Topic-sensitive PageRank
• Reasonable surfer
• Phrase-based indexing
• Local inter-connectivity, and
• The Golden Question

And finally, some tips and best practices for using topically relevant links in your SEO strategy.
Marketers have long understood the importance of links to SEO. So much so, it's something we study regularly here at Moz. At their most basic, links are counted as "votes" of popularity for search engines to rank websites. Beyond this, search engineers have long worked to extract a large number of signals from the simple link, including topical relevance. In this post, we examine how this may impact your ranking.
Deepanshu Gahlaut's profile photoFlorence Auréart's profile photoFORMA OUEST's profile photoAbdullah Hussain's profile photo
Very valuable post Cyrus! Love it!

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Cyrus Shepard

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Can you solve this SEO problem I posted in Webmaster Central Help Forum?

How to separate pages that Google has canonicalized?!topic/webmasters/R0MGhtF3IDs;context-place=forum/webmasters

+Google Webmasters 
Filippo Sogus's profile photoNishanth Stephen's profile photoViaceslavas Bazykas's profile photoFelipe Morales's profile photo
Only WBF is indexed and shown correctly, when I search for moz blog I get a crazy-sitelink-result: UGC and WBF and Rand Fishkin.
Did you found some "via this intermediate link" links in search console, Like marie heynes thought?
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Cyrus Shepard

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Every time you wear a nice shirt to the office...

+Trevor Klein​
Michael J. Coffey's profile photoScott Davis's profile photoSteve Rendell's profile photoorlando romero's profile photo
Dicen los expertos que es ideal ir a una entrevista con camisa blanca en lo particular a mi me gusta la camisa de rayas verticales te hace ver mas delgado
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Cyrus Shepard

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The Future of SEO: 2015 Ranking Factors Expert Survey

For many people, the 2nd part of the Ranking Factor Study from +Moz - the Expert Survey, is often the most revealing. While correlation data gives you hard numbers, the insight of SEO professionals gives you insight into what actually works (and doesn't) as well as insight into potential ranking signals that are difficult to measure through traditional data analysis.

Super grateful for the 160 top-notch professionals that participated. This may be the smartest, most experience group of folks who ever contributed to a single SEO research project.

Read the full post here:
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Cyrus Shepard

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Very Impressed with SimilarWeb Pro

This is a screenshot from our account with them, looking at keywords that sent search traffic to Their methodology is pretty solid - they have a panel of millions of web users around the world and can capture (anonymously) the keywords they search for, websites they visit, etc. based on clickstream data. Thus, they saw thousands of web surfers search for these in Google, then visit Moz, and it becomes the source for the data.

It's like keyword (not provided) is gone and real KW data is back (at least, a sizable sample set of it).
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Cyrus Shepard

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The Meta Referrer Tag: An Advancement for SEO, HTTPS, and the Internet

One of the problems of switching to HTTPS is you stop sending referral data to non-HTTPS sites.

This post shows you how to solve that problem with the meta referrer tag, which has quietly been around for a few years and used by the biggest sites on the planet.
Sergei Pricazchikov's profile photohonestIM's profile photoFrank Pfabigan's profile photoAbdullah Hussain's profile photo
Thanks, for a great post.
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Cyrus's Collections
I write about SEO, Social Media, Web Strategy, Startups and Online Marketing
I live in Seattle and work on the Interwebs. I work for Moz. I love tackling  tough SEO problems and helping online businesses spread their online marketing message. The web is the most democratizing force the world has ever seen, and I'm proud to be a part of it.

My wife Dawn creates infographics as the world's greatest graphic designer at Not only does she provide me with great logos and infographics, but she's a personal inspiration as well. Currently, she's having an awesome time setting up her watercolor art store for children on Etsy. As an SEO, I've learned that having a graphic designer as a partner is an invaluable asset. Highly recommended.
Bragging rights
Editor of the 2012 edition of the Beginners Guide to SEO. I've hitchicked over 5000 miles across the US. Played young Steve Martin in Cheaper by the Dozen. Once won a convertable on Hollywood Squares. I've done SEO consulting for some of the most interresting web properties in the world.
Senior Content Producer, SEO Consultant & Website Strategist at
SEO, Social Media, SEM, PPC, Organic Search, Online Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Content Strategy, Marketing Strategy
  • Moz
    SEO and Content, 2010 - present
    I help lead content strategy and content production around Moz. My responsibilities also include marketing our Inbound Marketing software and SEO tools.
  • Cyrus Shepard Inc.
    CEO, 2009 - 2013
    Personal online projects and private SEO and website strategy consulting.
  • PlaceFull
    Chief Marketing Officer, 2012 - 2012
    Responsible for Placefull's go-to-market marketing strategy. Also helped build the design and creative teams as well as guide the design of the original UI.
  • True Fabrications
    Web Manager, 2009 - 2010
    My fist SEO job. Responsible for all online marketing.
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Seattle, WA
Marshalltown, Iowa - Los Angeles - Portland, OR
Cyrus Shepard's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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