How to Avoid Duplicate Content Issues When Migrating from HTTP to HTTPS?


Installing SSL is no longer a complicated process and most websites are secured by SSL nowadays. While, if the SSL can work well and be worthy for your websites is mainly depended on how you set up it. And now, what we have to note is that when we migrate from HTTP to HTTPS, there may be some issue and influence on your websites if the SSL function does not work correctly.

Google may misunderstand that you are creating a new website when you just serve your website by migrating from HTTP to HTTPS; and your SEO efforts will be wasted when Google find the contents in the pages are duplicate. Actually, HTTP and HTTPS are just two different protocols and they express if your websites are protected with encrypted connections between clients and servers or not. Of course, in the technical level, the pages which URLs are with HTTP or HTTPS are entirely different even though they have duplicate contents. So, if you hope Google can distinguish them into different pages, the first important thing is to avoid the duplicate content issue.

Avoid Google Regarding HTTP and HTTPS Pages as Duplicate Contents

To avoid that the two pages are regarded as duplicate contents, you must prove that they are actually from same websites but different secure protocol. ‘301 redirect’ can be used to point all your HTTP pages to relative HTTPS counterparts if you have installed SSL for your websites. With the redirect function, your website can be visited from an un-secure connection to a secure connection. And by this way, visitors can get into the correct contents via both HTTP and HTTPS URLs, and Google will not think they are duplicate contents of two different pages.

Avoid Your Competitor Utilizing HTTPS Cantankerously

As we all know, without SSL, website pages can still be served by HTTPS in some servers and that will be regarded as duplicated content in Google browsers. So, if your competitors always provide your link with HTTPS when you are just using HTTP protocol, it will cause the duplicate contents issue in the Google SEO database.

Of course, most of the servers have strict limitation for HTTPS protocol, which means, without SSL, they never serve pages with HTTPS. And under this situation, if you have no SSL and no redirect, your website pages cannot be reached correctly; instead, error pages will display and your visitors may think it is a nonexistent website.

Use www or Non-www URLs

If the URLs have www or non-www will not make the difference. But before migrating from HTTP to HTTPS, you need to choose only one for your website pages since Google will also think they are two different pages but duplicate contents. SSL can be effective for both of the pages but browsers will not separate them; so you can also use the redirect function to point one page to the opposite one.

Tips to Avoid Duplicate Contents Error

In conclusion, avoiding duplicate contents can ensure the correct traffic records instead of being separated by two different pages and not be published by Google. And to promise the secure website environment, installing SSL admits of no delay.

Summarily, we suggest some tips to avoid the duplicate contents error as following:

Canonical pages – ‘301 redirect’ can help to point HTTP pages to HTTPS pages, besides, try to make sure the pages are as canonical as possible so that they can be regarded as the correct and authorized website contents.
Test server – Once the website pages are not secure, what will be the error information display? So, you need to test the server and try to add more 301s.
Check the URLs – There are some tools for testing and reviewing the URLs and finding any duplicate contents.
Check the 404s – Google Search Console can find and test 404 errors of your website pages.

Get You SSL

Want to get a SSL for your website? offer free SSL in all our hosting package. However, if you need a paid one, you could check out, we have multi domain, wildcard, OV, EV SSL from Comodo to meet your website needs. If you want to check out SSL from more SSL provider,  you could check out Bisend SSL store, one of world largest SSL shopping website.