Google SEO: Redirect Non WWW To WWW



I can’t even say this word properly – Canonicalization. Does your site have canonicalization problems?

Redirect www and the non-vww version of your domain

Simply put, http://www.hobo-web.co.uk/ can be treated by Google as a different url than http://hobo-web.co.uk/ even though it’s the same page, and it can get even more complicated. It’s thought Pagerank and Google Juice can be diluted if Google gets confused about your URLS and speaking simply you don’t want this PR diluted (in seo theory).

That’s why many, including myself, redirect non-www to www (or vice versa) if the site is on a linux/apache server (in the htaccess file -

Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^hobo-web.co.uk [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.hobo-web.co.uk/$1 [L,R=301]

Basically you are redirecting all the Google juice to one url.

Do you need to do this? No. As standard these days, I do however. It keeps it simple, when optimising for Google. It should be noted, it’s incredibly important not to mix the two types of www/non-www on site when linking your own internal pages!

Google can handle most sites no problem even without this measure being taken, and it’s certainly no magic bullet implementing this canonicalization fix. On it’s own I see little boost. I am not an expert when it comes server side, of course, so I would love to hear other views.

In my experience it depends on the type of site. Are people linking to your site other than you? ;)

If there are a lot of people linking to you, I would implement it. Imagine you have 10 links from relatively untrusted sites with the www and all of a sudden you get a link from a trusted site without the www (non www) – that’s when you might not get the most out of a link, it’s thought.

Another one not to obsess about – I survived years without it (although I did ensure I did not mix it up on site), and anyway, your host needs to support this sort of thing – and many low cost host do not. Interesting to note however Google asks you which one to pick in Google Webmaster Tools.

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