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Sanjay Parekh
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Sanjay Parekh

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We collected a few questions from news publishers related to HTTP to HTTPS site moves, but some of the answers are relevant to all webmasters who are considering going secure.
If you have more questions you'd like to see answered, we're listening!

Q: Should I move my site all at once to HTTPS, or bit by bit?
A: We recommend initially moving just a piece of the site to test any effects on traffic and search indexing. After that you can move the rest of your site all at once or in chunks.
When choosing the initial test section of the site, pick a section that changes less frequently and isn't significantly affected by frequent or unpredictable events.
Also keep in mind that while moving just one section is a great way to test your move, it's not necessarily representative of a whole site move when it comes to search. The more pages that you move, the more likely you'll encounter additional problems to solve. Careful planning can minimize problems.

Q: How long should I run my trial?
A: Plan for a few weeks to allow for crawling and indexing to pick up changes, plus time to monitor traffic.

Q: Even though we are starting with only a section, we plan to make the entire site available on HTTPS. To avoid indexing of the HTTPS content early, should we use redirects or rel=canonicals?
A: With redirects in place, you won't be able to test those pages from a technical point of view, so we'd recommend using rel=canonical.

Q: We reference our HTTP sitemaps in robots.txt. Should we update the robots.txt to include our new HTTPS sitemaps?
A: We recommend separate robots.txt files for HTTP and HTTPS, pointing to separate sitemap files for HTTP and HTTPS. We also recommend listing a specific URL in only one sitemap file.

Q: Which sitemap should map the section in the HTTPS trial?
A: You can create a separate sitemap just for the updated section of your site. This will enable you to track indexing of the trial section more precisely. Be sure not to duplicate these URLs in any other sitemaps, though.

Q: Are there any other specific things we need to add to the robots.txt for the HTTPS version?
A: No.

Q: Our HTTPS site redirects non-migrated pages back to HTTP. What should our sitemaps list? Should we list in our sitemaps both the HTTP and HTTPS URLs? What if in the test section the HTTP URLs redirect to HTTPS?
A: List all HTTP URLs in your HTTP sitemap, and all HTTPS URLs in your HTTPS sitemap, regardless of redirects when the user visits the page. Having pages listed in your sitemap regardless of redirects will help search engines discover the new URLs faster.

Q: If we set includeSubDomains in our HSTS header, which domains will that affect?
A: After you migrate your entire site to HTTPS, you can support HSTS preloading for extra security. To enable this, you must set the includeSubDomains directive in the HSTS header.
If the site www.example.com serves an HSTS header with includeSubdomains set, then it will apply to www.example.com and foo.www.example.com, but not example.com or foo.example.com.
Keep in mind however that HSTS adds complexity to your rollback strategy. Our recommendation is this:
1. Roll out HTTPS without HSTS first.
2. Start sending HSTS headers with a short max-age. Monitor your traffic both from users and other clients, and also dependants' performance, such as ads.
3. Slowly increase the HSTS max-age.
If HSTS doesn't affect your users and search engines negatively, you can, if you wish, ask your site to be added to the Chrome HSTS preload list (https://hstspreload.appspot.com/).

Q: We use a single Google News sitemap for our entire site. What do we do if we're migrating our site piece by piece?
A: If you want to use a Google News sitemap for the new HTTPS section, you will have to contact the News team (https://support.google.com/news/publisher/contact/update_domain) to let them know about the protocol change, and then in your HTTPS property in Search Console you can submit a new Google News sitemap (https://support.google.com/news/publisher/answer/74288) for each migrated HTTPS section of the site.

Q: Are there any specific recommendations for Google News Publisher Center (https://partnerdash.google.com/) with HTTPS migration?
A: Google News Publisher Center handles the HTTP->HTTPS moves transparently. In general you don't have to do anything from Google News perspective, unless you're also making use of News sitemaps. In that case, please get in touch with the News team and let them know about the change, https://support.google.com/news/publisher/contact/update_domain. You can also let the team know about changing sections, for example in case you're moving to HTTPS, you can specify that you're moving http://example.com/section to https://example.com/section .
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Everything Mobile with Google Experts

Here's the full video and transcript of our recent ‪#‎VirtualKeynote‬ with Google's John Mueller and Mariya Moeva. Our CEO Eric Enge talked with Mariya and John about mobile first design, mobile ranking, AMP, apps and much more.

Get insider information in this video!.
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+Patrick Sexton wow didn't know. Amazing! 
The mission of Varvy is to provide opportunity and to somehow try to inspire big companies to do the same.
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Hi Sanjay, thanks.

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Freshness doesn't matter -> Do Google’s Featured Snippets Prefer Older or Fresh Content? via +Jennifer Slegg #seo
If you are trying to land a featured snippet, are you better serving up a brand new page to take advantage of freshness? Or are you better to tweak a currently ranked but older page to make it more appealing as a featured snippet option? While we do see featured snippets change from one site …
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How might Google Rank pages differently based upon features associated with links pointed to those pages from other pages?
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https://goo.gl/js4IMs Team Msafiri currently on Oxfam Trailwalker 100Km 48hrs @KavitSEO in Team Msafiri @OAusTrailwalker  #trailwalker
A bunch of friends who are more like family to each other. We originally hail from Kenya but have been here for a fair few years now. Having seen the effects of poverty firsthand and having a love for walking, we thought we would try & combine the two together to see if we could make a difference to the lives of the less fortunate around the planet. We hope you can lend a helping hand too! How? I hear you ask... Well, by donating to a gr...
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Check this out!! While scrolling through GSERPs Google suddenly decided to display a long-copy page of 6 pages-worth of results in 1! View the bottom of this image to see I scrolled to page 6. I did it again and didn't have the same response until page 8. Anyone else seen this? In the long-copy page, the top Ads are gone.
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New feature: control which messages you receive in Search Console 
We’ve added a new feature to help you tailor the type of messages you receive. It’s very simple to use:  
1) When you receive a message you’d like to disable, click “Unsubscribe from this type of message” in the footer of the email.
2) Messages you’ve disabled will be listed in your Search Console preferences page — just like on the screenshot below.  
3) You can re-enable messages from there as well. 

For more details, have a look in our Help Center: https://goo.gl/AlaLc5
Enjoy your emptier inbox (-:
And let us know what you think! 
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Happiness depends on inner peace, which depends on warm-heartedness. There's no room for anger, jealousy or insecurity. A calm mind and self-confidence are the basis for peaceful relations with others. Scientists have observed that constant anger and fear eat away at our immune system, whereas a calm mind strengthens it. Changing the world for the better begins with individuals creating inner peace within themselves.
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Sanjay Parekh

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https://goo.gl/js4IMs Team Msafiri currently on Oxfam Trailwalker 100Km 48hrs @KavitSEO in Team Msafiri @OAusTrailwalker
A bunch of friends who are more like family to each other. We originally hail from Kenya but have been here for a fair few years now. Having seen the effects of poverty firsthand and having a love for walking, we thought we would try & combine the two together to see if we could make a difference to the lives of the less fortunate around the planet. We hope you can lend a helping hand too! How? I hear you ask... Well, by donating to a gr...
1

Sanjay Parekh

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A bunch of friends who are more like family to each other. We originally hail from Kenya but have been here for a fair few years now. Having seen the effects of poverty firsthand and having a love for walking, we thought we would try & combine the two together to see if we could make a difference to the lives of the less fortunate around the planet. We hope you can lend a helping hand too! How? I hear you ask... Well, by donating to a gr...
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Have him in circles
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