Help With Website Names in Google

5 replies
Sorry, it was hard thinking of a good title for this thread, but I need help with how the name of my website appears in the SERPS. I know that Google sees a website with www in front of the url as different from the same url without the www. I have a website I've been working on for about a year now and building backlinks to it, but most of the links go to the www site.

For example, www.website.com has about 500 backlinks while website.com only has about 100 backlinks.

My site used to be listed in Google with the www and it ranked better because of the backlinks, but recently Google changed it and my site is listed in the search results without the www and it has dropped in ranking.

Is there any way to get my site listed with the www again, and will that improve my rankings since there are more backlinks to my site with the www before the url? I am using yahoo siteexplorer to check the backlinks.

I have used the Google Webmaster settings to say I would prefer my site to be listed as www.website.com, but that hasn't changed anything.

I would appreciate anyone's advice. Thank you in advance.
#google #names #website
  • Profile picture of the author Steve Diamond
    Hi, Michael. You've done exactly the right thing in specifying your preferred listing using the webmaster tools. That usually takes a couple of weeks to show any effect.

    There's one more thing you can do that will help. Create a permanent redirect so that anyone following a link to http://website.com/somepage.html will automatically get redirected to http://www.website.com/somepage.html. Put this code at the beginning of the .htaccess file in your root web directory (usually public_html). If there is no .htaccess file, create one.
    Code:
    # BEGIN canonicalization
    Options +FollowSymlinks
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^website\.com$ [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.website.com/$1 [R=301,L]
    # END canonicalization
    You may want to see this tutorial for further information about this technique. There are many others you could find using Google.

    I hope this helps.

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Mason
    Thanks for the tips, Steve. It's been about a week since I set my preference using the webmaster tools. Perhaps it will just take a little more time for the changes to take place. I will read more about the link you gave me too, that looks like a good idea and it says it has SEO benefits too. Thanks for the help.
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  • Profile picture of the author CliveG
    Hi Michael,

    Looks like to are heading in the right direction with Google's webmaster tools. Do you have a Google site map? Although they are "optional" I have found them very useful in speeding up website reorganisations.

    Also, when taking Steve's advice above, make sure that you do make the redirect permanent - that's the 301 bit. Some examples you see do not include this and the default is a temporary redirect. And if you have access include it in the main Apache configuration file rather than in the .htaccess file - it's much more efficient.

    Hope this helps,

    Clive
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Mason
    Man...I guess I got impatient and started this thread a little early. Today I checked and my site is listed as www again, lol. I should have waited another day to ask my question. Anyway, thanks for the help everyone, and I still think I'll use the redirect idea since there are links out for my website without the www, and it says there are seo benefits of redirecting to the page you want to rank for. Thanks for the help everyone!
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt
      Originally Posted by Michael Mason View Post

      Man...I guess I got impatient and started this thread a little early. Today I checked and my site is listed as www again, lol. I should have waited another day to ask my question. Anyway, thanks for the help everyone, and I still think I'll use the redirect idea since there are links out for my website without the www, and it says there are seo benefits of redirecting to the page you want to rank for. Thanks for the help everyone!
      Still do what Steve suggested above. It may help your linking totals, and it won't hurt.

      Google was supposed to have fixed this years ago, but not sure they really changed anything.
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