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Moved Website to new host, the https version from old host is showing up in Google!

Posted on 2014-07-24
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Last Modified: 2014-08-10
Hi!
Well, over a month ago I moved a client's site from a hosting company to Site5.com. We have a coming soon splash page for the site here: http://bit.ly/WL3xoF

Okay, that is fine and dandy, but when you type in Blue Agave Santa Barbara into Google you see the old site showing up in the search results. More disturbing: it's a https:// website so we are not able to access it!

What could be causing this issue? And how do I fix it? Is it something I have to do with Google or the previous hosting company?

Thanks!
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Question by:Alicia St Rose
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46 Comments
 
LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 40217690
Why wouldn't the old site show up? It's still live

As for the HTTPS - Google must have found the link somewhere.
Do a redirect to the non http version and Google will eventually drop the https listing.
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Expert Comment

by:duncanb7
ID: 40217691
in old server, did you set up openSSL on your server ? and on old server https://yoursite.com, Okay or accessible ?
in new server, did you set up openSSL on your server ?

Duncan
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Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40217766
Okay,
I'm totally confused. We transferred the domain name to Godaddy and pointed it to Godaddy (Sorry, I got clients mixed up. The site is hosted by Godaddy!) Why is the other site still live when domain is not being pointed to that server? Whois has nameservers as Godaddy.

I didn't set up openSSL on new server because it's just a coming soon page. And will not need high security on the new site. No one will be sending in sensitive data.

We really don't want anything to do with old hosting anymore.
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Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40217769
Can I go into Google Webmaster tools and request that the https:// listing be deleted?
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:duncanb7
ID: 40217774
Could you send us his .htaccess file ? Since you said it is moved a month ago, it is
not DNS Propagation delay issue ( that delay is within 48 around the world)

Duncan
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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 40217779
No, url removal is agnostic of http/https and www/non www versions
So if you do that the page is completely removed.

Just make sure there are no links to the https version anywhere.
Get the site setup with SSL and redirect the page to http
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:duncanb7
ID: 40217785
Dear Author,

Are you web hosting re-seller, if So, please also send us your .htaccess file
Take a look at this site for the site index issue if have time.
http://moz.com/ugc/8-reasons-why-your-site-might-not-get-indexed

Duncan
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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40217788
Yeah and I can't access the cpanel of the old host now. Since it's address is http://thewebsite.com/cpanel, I'm getting a page not found on the Godaddy site.
Ay yi yi!

Do I just attach the .htaccess file here?
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Expert Comment

by:duncanb7
ID: 40217798
You could login SSH shell by putty to view your linux system and its database, right ?

Why not contact to your hosting adminstrator for this issue ?

Duncan
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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 40217812
Confused
Where is the website now, I thought you were hosting it

(nothing to do with htaccess)
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Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40217817
As long as I don't have to contact old hosting. That's a joke. It's a one man shop and he never replies in a timely manner.
So contacting Godaddy can possibly rectify this?
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LVL 58

Assisted Solution

by:Gary
Gary earned 375 total points
ID: 40217823
No GoDaddy can't
Are you hosting the site? If so it's nothing to do with the old host.
Get an SSL cert and install it on the site and then redirect https... to the http.. version and Google will follow suit
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Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40217828
Okay back story:

1. Site was hosted and domain, blueagavesb.com, registered with WebCatalyst. I believe it had SSL enabled because of some credit card info submission
2. Domain name was transferred to Godaddy where my client is now hosting completely different WP site under the domain blueagavesb.com
3. I can access the new site by typing in URL.
4. In google old site is showing up in Search with "blue agave santa barbara" and it's not accessible because of SSL.
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Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40217829
Hosting is with Godaddy!
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Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40217837
Hi Gary!
This sounds like the ticket! Can I get Godaddy to help with that since they are the host?
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LVL 58

Assisted Solution

by:Gary
Gary earned 375 total points
ID: 40217842
You do it yourself

You can get a free cert at
https://www.startssl.com/

How you install it depends on your hosting/control panel...?
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Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40217845
How do I get an SSL cert?
Sorry, I'm new to this security stuff. My clients don't usually require it.
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Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40217846
Ha!
We are all talking at once and my questions are answered before I ask 'em!
You guys are great!
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:duncanb7
ID: 40217861
Go to contact the company administrator who own the new server and your client's new server.

Supposed what company you or client pay to , they need to solve and support  your issue
Go to the company  site page and contact them directly

Duncan
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Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40217894
Thanks Duncan7!
I'll give that a shot since I'm stuck waiting for my client to forward an email to get the SSL Cert.
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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40218020
Just got off the phone with Godaddy. The tech said that this has nothing to do with either hosting but with Google. When  you do the search "blue agave santa barbara" and see the results then click on the Google+ link below the results, the web address actually goes to the http site and doesn't try to go to https.
The tech thought this was strange and didn't know what to make of it. He determined it's a google issue. He doesn't understand why I'd have to put a SSL certificate on the current site if I don't need it.

I'm in the process of getting approval for the free SSL. So, I'm going to try it, anyway. What do I have to lose?

I did some digging around and came up with this:

http://wp-mix.com/htaccess-redirect-http-to-https/

I'm assuming that this one of these will work once a install the SSL?
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Accepted Solution

by:
Gary earned 375 total points
ID: 40218031
Google must have at some stage found the link and that is why it is showing it, probably the way the site was set up before.
By getting the ssl cert you will then be able to redirect the link the http version.  You cannot do that without the ssl cert as no connection is made to your site if ssl is not setup.
Google should then remove the https link and show the http link - also this means people clicking the link from google can actually get to your site.
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Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40218056
Okay Gary,
This is my last hope, cause there's no way I'm getting a live person at Google to help me!
I just got approved for the SSL certificate and will install it at Godaddy.

So should I redirect in the Cpanel or the .htaccess file?
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LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 40218066
Just as easy in the htaccess

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} on
RewriteRule (.*) http://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

Open in new window

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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 40218071
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Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40218279
Okay folks!
I think I may have solved the problem! Palm slap to the forehead for me.

The new site is a WordPress site and the "Discourage search engines was checked". So without the ability to crawl the site, the old page was the only thing indexed. I'll have to wait and see when google crawls it.

This could be it, right? Fingers crossed!
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LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40218456
That's probably your only choice.  As for the 'old' link, if anyone anywhere has that link on their site, Google may pick it up and display it in the search results.  That is not under your control since it comes from somewhere else.
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LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 40218481
Discourage search engines was checked
Nothing to do with why Google was showing the https link
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Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40218528
Okay,
I've been reading through some canonical stuff and https:

http://www.rainbodesign.com/seo-tips/removing-https-index.php

I don't understand how I can do anything about this if the site that's showing up isn't connected to a domain name that's on a live server. blueagavesb.com is served up by Godaddy and the results in Google aren't even the same title and description as the Godaddy site.  When I type in blueagavesb.com into search I get a site without https and a notice about description lacking. I've noticed this happening before when a new WordPress site hasn't been indexed initially.

It seems to me that it's just an old indexed page hanging out until the site under the domain name is indexed again. My client doesn't want to pay $69 a year at Godaddy and have his sites moved to SSL just so he can redirect a site that doesn't need SSL to begin with.

There's gotta be a better way!
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40218608
I'm wondering what you are talking about.  If I Google for "blueagavesb.com", this is what I get:
Google blueagavesbIf you Google for "site:blueagavesb.com", you get about 242 old links, both 'https' and not.  Listings do not instantly appear and disappear.  Those links will not disappear for a while.  But some Wordpress site is showing up if you click on the non-https links.
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Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40218684
Hi Dave,
That Blue Agave is the correct one! The current site should be a "Website coming soon" site consisting of two pages.
That is the one I just turned on for Search engines today.

The https shows up when you do a search for these for keywords together: blue agave santa barbara.
You will see it's not the same site in the search results as the current site! It's the old site from the old hosting company. The domain is no longer pointing to it.Google search results for terms "blue agave santa barbara"
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Assisted Solution

by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 125 total points
ID: 40218768
The domain is no longer pointing to it.
That doesn't make any difference to the many old listings for the site that Google has.  Google will eventually catch up to your new site, especially if you join Google Webmaster Tools and upload a sitemap.  In the mean time, those listings are Google's data, not yours, and they will display them as long as they want.
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Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40218776
Should I bother with the SSL and redirect idea that Gary suggested? My client doesn't get how these things work and thinks that it's something I've done.
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LVL 82

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40218788
I wouldn't.  If they click on links that don't exist anymore, they're going to get 404's anyway.  And those listings aren't going to go away for quite a while.  When I go into my Google Webmaster pages, they're still showing 404s for pages that were taken down years ago from my site but are still listed on someone else's site.  Nothing I can do about it.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 40218795
Have you ever heard of 'archive.org'?  They try to preserve everything they can find on the internet.  Including blueagavesb.com.  You should be glad that Google isn't crawling their site!

https://web.archive.org/web/*/http://blueagavesb.com
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Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40218825
I do know about this. I've always known it as "Way Back Machine".
I'm glad you jogged my memory! I needed to get the menus off the old site and enter into the new one. Since old site is down I was going to install locally just to get at the menus so I can cut and paste. Now I can just use the Wayback Machine!!
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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 40219349
The SSL was only a temporary to measure to help Google start indexing the non http version, because eventually Google will remove the listing completely and then it takes longer to get relisted.
$69 - GoDaddy charges to have SSL on the site? I gave you the link for a free cert - Dave will know more about this than I.
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Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40219623
I got the free cert, but there didn't seem to be any way to add to Godaddy without buying SSL and they would move the sites to an SSL server. I downloaded the public and private keys in a .cert file.

I would love some suggestion on how I can add certificates without moving to a who new server!
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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 40219658
Then you will have to leave the link to die naturally
Normally it isn't good to lose all your listings on Google as to get listed again can take some time.

(70 dollars a year is ridiculous - I pay around $150 a year for a VPS)
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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40219668
Well, Google has indexed the new site. Of course as stated here, that didn't make a difference. Old page still showing up in Google. So, I get it.

So I'm going to give Godaddy a call and see if I can add the cert without moving sites. They hmmm'd and hawed when I mentioned it saying they couldn't guarantee the safety, but we aren't doing anything that needs security.
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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40219677
Wow, Gary! You pay that little for VPS? Even Site5 is around $60 per month.
We can't let the old site die off. It's got years of link juice! So I've got to see what I can do.
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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 40219703
Your problem is that almost all links in Google are https - they are going to disappear and you will never get the SEO benefit they might have now back without an SSL cert and redirecting to http
I would never recommend GoDaddy anyway but if this is too much hassle for them I would seriously consider a new host who lets you add an SSL cert (which takes less than an hour to do from start to finish)
The longer you leave it the more links are going to start disappearing from Google.
0
 
LVL 58

Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 40219746
Remember this is just a one off thing, not something you have to keep doing.
Takes from about week to a month for Google to update their listings for 301 redirects - though depends on the indexing speed for your site.
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LVL 7

Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40251891
Hello Folks! Sorry for the long span of silence. Been working hard to get this project finished.

Google either eventually indexed the site or my client contacted someone who did something, probably in Google Webmaster tools. The correct URL is showing up now. However, there are still some old https links out there that don't resolve even though I put a 301 redirect in the .htaccess file. Oh well!

So I'm awarding the points equally between the two of you, because I believe the certificate resolution would have worked, except Godaddy wanted to move the entire site to VPS with Certificate (and they suggested the same thing as Gary). A no go for my client! And true to form, the site was indexed, yet all links will never resolve as Dave pointed out.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 40251901
I just checked all answers that were pertinent, reassuring and would probably have worked if I'd tried them!
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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 40251903
Just checked the site, still a few https links, lot of 404's and a lot of links that Google is dropping.
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