Moz 804 SSL Crawl Error

I’ve been tracking our company website in a Moz Pro campaign for a few months and found it quite useful. Everything was going great until I moved the site to Amazon’s CloudFront CDN. Every week Moz emails me with a list of any potential SEO issues to fix on the site and the first of these reports that came through after the move contained a big one, an 804 SSL Crawl Error to be precise.

Error Code 804: HTTPS (SSL) Error Encountered

We were unable to access your homepage, which prevented us from crawling the rest of your site. It is likely that other browsers as well as search engines may encounter this problem and abort their sessions. This could be a temporary outage, but we recommend making sure your network and server are working correctly.

This was obviously not good news. My first thought was that I must’ve made a mistake when setting things up on the CDN. But after a little digging I found the problem: Moz simply does not support SSL certificates served from a CDN such as CloudFront or CloudFlair.

This response was posted by James Kaiser, a Moz Inc employee, on a Moz forum:

Hey there – sorry if there was a miscommunication but we do in fact support SSL, however at this time we do not support SNI (Server Name Identification) which is a technology used to host multiple SSL certificates from a single IP address. If you are currently leveraging CloudFlare or CloudFront we will not be able to crawl your site. If you are using a standard SSL from it’s own IP we can most likely crawl that page.

This is a major disappointment to me as I was enjoying using Moz Pro and am now weighing up whether to keep shelling out the monthly subscription. Moz has said they are working on a fix but that ‘an ETA is not available quite yet’. That was back in July and as far as I’m aware there have been no other announcements.

So if you are facing the same issue what can you do? It seems to me that there are few options:

  1. Live with the fact that you will no longer get SEO errors reported despite paying for this feature.
  2. Ditch the SSL certificate on your site (Bad option in my opinion)
  3. Ditch the CDN (Very bad option)
  4. Cancel Moz Pro

I think I’m going to go with option 1 for the time being as there are plenty of other useful features included in the Moz Pro subscription but if they don’t provide a fix in the next 2-3 months I may well start looking around at other options.

Pete Clark

Pete Clark has been working with websites since the 1990s, which seems like a very very long time ago now. You can follow him on Twitter @ClarkCX