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Google’s John Mueller Says It’s Best to Replace Internal HTTP Links

4 August 2022
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Google’s John Mueller Says It’s Best to Replace Internal HTTP Links

Google has urged webmasters to “always try” to fix internal links when migrating from an older HTTP site to a newer HTTPS one, as it will make everything “cleaner” and more intuitive.

In a thread on Reddit, Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller said he believes it is worth the effort to fix internal links rather than relying on redirects.

While he noted that it won’t have a major impact on search rankings, the simple change can help visitors to access content faster.

This is because redirects for internal links still require visitors to go through the older HTTP version of a page first, even if it’s only for a brief moment.

Updating links, which is a part of technical SEO, can therefore give a small but meaningful boost to the quality of the user experience.

Mueller said: “I’d always try to fix internal links, it just makes things cleaner, and is under your own control. I doubt it would have any visible effect though.”

You can replace internal links on WordPress sites using plugins such as Better Search Replace.

However, while Mueller recommends this action, you should always approach major changes with caution.

If you are uncomfortable with making these tweaks yourself, you should liaise with a developer to find the best way to move forward.

And, as Mueller states, while replacing internal links is useful, it is not always essential.

The latest advice is different to Google’s Gary Illyes’ claim back in 2015 that changing links for HTTPS isn’t really worth it when redirects are “properly implemented”.

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