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I am using shared hosting from a reasonably well known Australian web hosting company and have come across an unusual issue where Google is indexing pages on my website from another website on the same server that is using https.

I do not have an SSL certificate associated with my website but Google is finding content like this:

https://mysite.example.com/content-from-another-website

I have logged a support request with the web hosting company and the only solution they suggest is to purchase an SSL certificate for my website (minimum cost is $50) or create a self signed certificate to prevent the issue from occurring.

Apparently the web hosting company has escalated the issue to cPanel but there is no ETA on a resolution.

Obviously this is not ideal as my page rankings could be affected with search engines indexing content that has nothing to do with my website.

Has anyone else come across this problem and is there a better solution than what my web hosting company is suggesting?

Note that I look after about 40 websites hosted with this company so unless I really have to, I'm not keen on:

  • paying $2000 every year for SSL certificates I don't really need plus the installation and renewal hassles
  • moving 40 x websites to a new hosting company
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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

SSL certificates don't have to be as expensive as what you are suggesting. I used https://www.startssl.com/ to generate SSL certificates for my 7 websites that I own personally. The entire cost for doing so was a $59 personal verification fee (you send them the documents and pay for them to verify your identity.) After that fee, you are free to generate certificates for any domain that you personally own (after a free verification process of ownership.)

If you need certificates for a domain that is owned by a company, then you have to pay additional "class 2" verification fees for each company so that you can generate certificates for their domain names.


Your hosting company could certainly fix the problem without involving extra certificates.

  • They could reconfigure their Apache server regarding SSL and virtual hosts.
  • They could put a rule into the htaccess file of the SSL site to prevent access with different domain names.

If they are unable or unwilling to do this, moving hosts might be a good option. I can't think of anything that you can do to fix this problem on your own without help from your host.

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