SSL, HTTPS, and duplicate content
I am often asked if buying a SSL certificate for a website will cause duplicate content because a website’s URL can be accessed using both http and https.
- Let’s make this short, the answer is no. Obtaining a SSL certificate and using HTTPS does not create duplicate content.
Why doesn’t https create duplicate content?
Search engine bots are unable to read encrypted content. As a result, https accessed webpages will not be duplicated on search engine result pages.
It is true that if you search for websites such as Gmail or Twitter whom operate using encrypted and verified data on Google, you will indeed retrieve the the URL https://Twitter.com opposed to retrieving http://Twitter.com, but that’s only because Twitter is tailored for user safety and uses SSL since March 2nd, 2011 after numerous security breaches and problems. Most notably the public hacking of Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter account.
The announcement about the switch to SSL by Twitter was made 1 hour after Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter account was hacked on March 2nd, 2011, in which the hacker then notified Ashton’s Twitter followers the importance of encrypted data and obtaining a secure socket layer certificate.