www or non www better for seo?

48 replies
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Hi guys, am I right in thinking that a www version of a site is a sub domain?

Would example.com rank better than the www version?

I have seen some top IMers sites who go for the non www version.

Thanks
B
#seo #www
  • Profile picture of the author Matthew NY
    It shouldnt matter. Either way, www. or not, the link will still go to your page.
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  • Profile picture of the author Maraun
    This is just a matter of taste. You have to make sure to 301 redirect one to the other though. If you don't do that Google treats the www and the non-www as two different sites.
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    • Profile picture of the author killer999
      Originally Posted by Maraun View Post

      This is just a matter of taste. You have to make sure to 301 redirect one to the other though. If you don't do that Google treats the www and the non-www as two different sites.

      Maraun says everthing
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    • Profile picture of the author Stuart william
      Originally Posted by Maraun View Post

      This is just a matter of taste. You have to make sure to 301 redirect one to the other though. If you don't do that Google treats the www and the non-www as two different sites.
      Both version are preferred by google. Depends on you but you need to redirect another version to preferred one
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  • Profile picture of the author webber1
    Any more views on this?
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  • Profile picture of the author timbarker
    Banned
    Using www and non-www doesn't affect your rankings. But before you started SEO on your site, you have to decide if you're going to use www or non-www and stick on what you choose. Also do canonical linking so if you're not using www and your visitor use www, there will still be sent to your website.
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  • Profile picture of the author cfl
    with www is better for seo
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    • Profile picture of the author timbarker
      Banned
      Originally Posted by cfl View Post

      with www is better for seo
      I strongly disagree with that meet. SEO has nothing to do with www or non-www.
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  • Profile picture of the author UMS
    Originally Posted by webber1 View Post

    Hi guys, am I right in thinking that a www version of a site is a sub domain?
    Not correct. The 'www' part is a hostname (in 99.9% of cases). I won't bore you with the technical details, but if it was a subdomain, you'd be able to prefix it with a hostname, eg:

    somename.www.example.com

    Would example.com rank better than the www version?

    I have seen some top IMers sites who go for the non www version.
    There's no difference for ranking the www or non-www, so long as:

    1. You be consistent with the version you build your backlinks to.

    2. You set up a 301 redirect from the www to the non-www version or vice-versa.
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  • Profile picture of the author oldvintageguy
    I agree that it is a matter of choice -- for me, I like the 'www' just because it's what I'm used to seeing.
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  • For SEO ranking purposes there is no difference between www and non-www. The www is just a subdomain of the main domain and Google considers subdomains and subdirectories equal (i.e. part of the same website, not special in any way).

    You do need to pick one versus the other, though, as using both will cause you SEO problems. Since www.domain.com is a different URL then domain.com you can run into duplicate content penalties since you can pull the same information up using two URLs. To solve this:

    1) Set up your webserver to always forward either to the www domain or without it. This should be a 301 redirect. In Apache it would look like this:

    Forward to the www

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^(www\.|$) [NC]
    RewriteRule ^ http://www.%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

    Forward to the non-www

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(www\.|$) [NC]
    RewriteRule ^ http://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

    2) Make sure all of your internal links use the chosen form (even though the 301 redirect will catch this for you internal links do pass PR and help your rankings and 301 redirects dilute their value).

    3) In Google Webmaster Tools tell Google to always use the www or not. It's under site configurations / settings.

    The preferred domain is the one that you would like used to index your site's pages. If you specify your preferred domain as IANA — Example domains and we find a link to your site that is formatted as IANA — Example domains , we'll treat that link as if it was IANA — Example domains . In addition, we'll take your preference into account when displaying URLs in our search results. It may take some time for changes to be reflected in our index.

    4) You may want to consider use rel=canonical tags on your pages to make sure the search engines always know which chosen form is the right one but this is redundant since the 301 redirect should prevent them from seeing the other form.
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    • Profile picture of the author oldvintageguy
      Originally Posted by Everythingbranded View Post

      ...In Google Webmaster Tools tell Google to always use the www or not.
      Do you recommend doing that even if you set up the 301 redirect in .htaccess? In other words, is it necessary to tell google if you have a 301 in place? Or does google figure it out on its own? Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author LiftMyRank
    It's doesn't really matter, so long as you always build links to one or the other, google will treat your site the same.
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  • Profile picture of the author SeoKnightsInc
    It hardly matter i have all the sites without www and they rank well and a few rank lower then www its all on your SEO work.
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    • Profile picture of the author roofisine
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  • Profile picture of the author mikest4u
    Basically This term know as canonical URLs, You can use 301 Permanent Root Redirect to Fix This Issue!
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  • Profile picture of the author Addaneye123
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    • Profile picture of the author densons
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      • Profile picture of the author BlackMetal
        shouldn't effect rankings, but I have run tests on adwords, and it definitely gives a big effect on click through rates
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        • Profile picture of the author LangeTroels
          Originally Posted by BlackMetal View Post

          shouldn't effect rankings, but I have run tests on adwords, and it definitely gives a big effect on click through rates
          Interesting.. What are you experiencing?

          My guess is that people tend to click www. version more - correct?

          BR
          Troels
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          • Profile picture of the author mothert26
            my guess would be the www too.. at least personal preference.
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        • Profile picture of the author seanpearse
          Originally Posted by BlackMetal View Post

          shouldn't effect rankings, but I have run tests on adwords, and it definitely gives a big effect on click through rates
          yeah I'm interested as well...which version was most popular on adwords?
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  • Profile picture of the author sadek
    It doesn't matter for SEO.
    But I will suggest you to use a www as our common habit is to write url with www such as www.example-site.com
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    • Profile picture of the author Lucy Writes
      I don't think it matters for SEO purposes, but I always use www, just because I think it looks more professional on a website and it is what I and I think most internet users are used to seeing.
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      • Profile picture of the author elizabethjean733
        Originally Posted by Lucy Writes View Post

        I don't think it matters for SEO purposes, but I always use www, just because I think it looks more professional on a website and it is what I and I think most internet users are used to seeing.
        Yes it do matters, its a case of canonical issue. In this case if your site is opening with two multiple url's one with www and one is without. So Google will consider this as two duplicate pages of your site. This will effect you in Rank in SERP's.

        Hey Folks
        Read Canonical Article on Wiki.
        __________________________________________________ _____________
        Yii PHP | Yii Framework
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  • Profile picture of the author robrave
    It doesn't matter.

    Just choose one and stick with it. Make sure that you do your backlinking consistently only on one. If you go for www, then do all your backlinking efforts on www.
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  • Profile picture of the author LeoTran
    You can choose www or non-www to use but you should redirect 301 between both versions .
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  • Profile picture of the author kenneth1982
    I think Non www better when you seo web page. If you don't use www, your web page decrease 4 length (www.).
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  • Profile picture of the author johnvictor
    I suggest you to go with using worldwideweb . However they both doesn't have a major difference but it's better to go with WorldWideWeb.
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  • Profile picture of the author annaharris
    It depends on your choice.
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  • Profile picture of the author PromoDirect
    One of my friend is having problem with www. His website is a plain HTML static website hosted on IS Windows server. He wants his website to redirect to IANA — Example domains when just example.com is been entered, doesn't know how to do it, does anyone have an answer?
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  • Profile picture of the author nadiamoqaddas
    I suggest you write www as it is best format of a website
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  • Profile picture of the author Jospeh31
    Some directories check your URL when you submit and you must use "www".
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  • Profile picture of the author webdevpro
    There should be no difference but you need to stuck with either one. 'www' will be better in case if you are also planning to add other subdomains, and thats not from ranking point but from consistency point. This way all your urls will look similar in structure. Rest depends on your own taste.
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  • Profile picture of the author webtrafficnoob
    doesn't matter - however as stated before

    choose one and stick to it and build your links to the same one

    -J
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  • Profile picture of the author thedigger
    You should prefer either w3 or non-w3. You should not consider both else it will create canonical issue.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jospeh31
    there is no "best format"! you just need to pick the "one".

    You do this by creating a htaccess file.

    here is a simple one:

    AddDefaultcharset On
    AddType 'text/html; charset=UTF-8' html
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yourwebsite.com
    RewriteRule (.*) http://www.yourwebsite.com/$1 [R=301,L]
    RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^.*\/index\.html?
    RewriteRule ^(.*)index\.html?$ http://www.yourwebsite.com/$1 [R=301,L]

    If you dont do this there are 6 instances of your url, something like:

    www.domain.com
    domain.com
    www.domain.com/index.php
    domain.com/index.php

    etc

    Google is smart enough to figure these this now, but like Google CEO says, matt cutts, its better if you help. I have seen a lot of cases where this version www.domain.com had a PR of 4 and this one domain.com had a PR of 1.

    more info here:

    SEO advice: url canonicalization
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  • Profile picture of the author Jospeh31
    Here is what Matt Says:

    "Canonicalization is the process of picking the best url when there are several choices, and it usually refers to home pages. For example, most people would consider these the same urls:But technically all of these urls are different. A web server could return completely different content for all the urls above. When Google “canonicalizes” a url, we try to pick the url that seems like the best representative from that set."
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  • Profile picture of the author Harga
    I prefer www - The reason is because when you get natural backlinks, people have a tendency to include the www, generally.
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    • Profile picture of the author mileagedriver
      Both shows no difference. You can use 301 redirection to fix this issue.
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  • Profile picture of the author mo3tez
    there is no SEO impact using www or non www
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  • Profile picture of the author linkvana
    Since everyone's already given a thorough explanation of 301 redirects, I just wanted to add one more thing to consider.

    Look at your existing backlinks. If the majority point to one version, then choose that version as your main site. 301 redirects work well, but they do have a minor PR loss.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nathan Isaac
    It does not matter at all.

    Just a few things to remember:

    - Point your 301 to the url you choose.
    - When creating backlinks, point them to the link you chose.


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    • Profile picture of the author FrFai
      Sorry for hijacking your thread.

      I have site running WP. It was non-www and I wanted to redirect it to www.

      So I went to my Dashboard > General Settings and changed Site URL: http://domain.com to http://www.domain.com

      Is it the correct SEO way? or I have to do it .htaccess way ?

      Thanks in advance.
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      • Profile picture of the author BethOconnell
        I've found this thread very interesting indeed because I've just had a client query me in regards to this.

        They adamantly want the link text without the www

        so is this just personal preference then?
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  • Profile picture of the author ralchevd
    non www. the url is shorter.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Hoffman
    www. is the way to go, its better for SEO
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  • Profile picture of the author jeweling
    it doesn't matter,if you choose www then all www,if you choose non www,then all non www
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  • Profile picture of the author Natlex
    It does not matter, I have mostly non www because that is the default with wordpress and it changed nothing. I have 2 www. sites and they rank the same.
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