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Google recommends replacing HTTP internal links with HTTPS versions

August 8, 2022 0 comments

When you move from an HTTP version of your website to the HTTPS version, it is possible to leave behind plenty of HTTP internal links on your website. If you have set up proper redirects, visitors who click on the HTTP link will be automatically redirected to the (correct) HTTPS version of the page.

However, Google still recommends “always try to fix internal links.”

This recommendation goes against the advice that Google’s Gary Illyes shared in 2015 when Gary Illyes said that if the redirects are properly implemented, replacing internal links with the correct HTTPS versions is “not worth it.”


Google’s John Mueller recently said it is “always” worth doing.

“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.”

Benefits of removing redirect chains

It’s true that removing the redirect chains won’t have any noticeable visible effect, but it can help improve web page performance and your site’s overall performance in search rankings.

First, removing redirects means visitors can get to the web page faster — which is good for the user experience.

Second, search engines have a limited crawl budget, and every redirect counts as a page crawled against that crawl budget. If you have a massive website with lots of web pages, the crawl budget may get exhausted before Google has crawled and indexed all the pages on your site. That can have a  direct negative effect on your website’s performance in search.

Third, you cannot rely on redirects indefinitely. Things can go wrong, and links may break. It is always a good idea to keep your website clean and links straightforward without relying on redirect chains and hoops.

Replacing HTTP internal links with HTTPS versions

If you only have a few redirect chains, you can replace the HTTP internal links with HTTPS versions one by one. However, if you have lots of links, you might want to use a plugin, such as Better Search Replace, to replace internal links in bulk.

There is always a risk of something breaking when you are using a plugin or making changes in bulk. Therefore, we recommend saving a backup that you can revert to in case something goes wrong.