After crawling your web resource with an audit tool, you may see a notice advising you to update your canonical links from HTTP to HTTPS. What does it mean when such a message appears and how to fix it? Let’s figure it out.
What Does “Canonical from HTTP to HTTPS” Mean?
In short, a canonical URL can be determined as the best and most trustworthy representative page among a group of similar or even duplicated pages. In other words, this is a preferred version of the page.
For example, if there are URLs like example.com?table=1234 and example.com/tables/1234, the browser will choose only one as canonical.
This HTML element is located in the document’s header and is represented by the rel=canonical identificator.
Canonical from HTTP to HTTPS notice means that a particular URL uses the Hypertext Transfer Protocol while the canonical URL uses HTTPS. The difference is that the latter one is secured.
Watch this video by John Mueller for more information:
What triggers this issue?
The program checks whether any internal Hypertext Transfer Protocol URLs contain a canonical link element that uses a Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure URL as the canonical URL.
How to check the issue?
The first option is to check manually: right-click on the page’s blank space and choose “View page source”. Then find the link tag with the following rel=canonical attribute <link rel=”canonical” href=” https://site.com “>. Check what protocol is specified therein.
Or you can simply use a specialized tool like this one: https://codebeautify.org/source-code-viewer
Detect HTTP pages with HTTPS canonical
Crawl the website to collect all HTTP pages that have HTTPS canonicals
Why is this important?
- Users’ impression. The browser, for example, Chrome (which is the most popular according to w3counter), sends a notification to users that the web resource is not secure. This can decrease the level of trust as well as conversion. This affects the overall performance of the site.
- Security. HTTPS protocol encrypts the information shared between your browser and the web resource.
- SEO performance. The protocol is a signal for the system. It prevents the indexing tools from redirecting to duplicate pages. In addition, it forwards a search engine to the homepage of the most relevant version. This fosters correct page indexing.
How to fix the issue?
If the site uses Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure and you found that the version referred to next to the canonical is of the HTTP protocol, the website sends mixed messages to Google, stating that the HTTP version is the preferred one and should be in the index.
To change this, fix your canonical tags to point to the correct version of the webpage. You can either update your WordPress and manually fix every tag or request the assistance of the web specialists.
We strongly advise looking through a dedicated guide on how to migrate from HTTP to HTTPS: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/https-migration-guide/195103/