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Link Development Forum

www.domain.com or domain.com

 9:21 pm on Jan 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

I just received a link to the domain.com version of my site... it's the only one to there that I know of. Is this a bad thing... PR wise, would it be a wasted link? It brings traffic, but I would love to get the pr boost as well. Would it be rude to ask the site owner to change it to www.domain.com?



 9:26 pm on Jan 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

No and do.

Our server config changed recently resulting in duplicate www and non www listings. It isn't a great idea to have this happen.


 10:14 pm on Jan 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have always found that other webmasters are gracious if I ask them to tweak a link for this reason. (Especially if I'm linking back to them!)


 11:39 pm on Jan 26, 2003 (gmt 0)



 11:50 pm on Jan 26, 2003 (gmt 0)

If they've taken the time to link to you, they'll take the time to do it right ;)



 12:22 am on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

You can redirect it server side to www.


 2:11 am on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yes, one can redirect things server side (assuming one's host knows how) but that doesn't solve the problem that search engines sometimes consider the www. or non-www. version of an URL to be separate pages, even when they're not. (I've seen cases where they were indeed different).


 2:53 am on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately it isn't common knowledge that a search engine will see the two url's as separate domains.

I'm a stickler for doing things right, and I would definitely correct someone elses link from my site to theirs if someone brought it to my attention. It's the courteous thing to do.


 2:57 am on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

You can redirect it server side to www.

Marcia's advice is probably going to be the most efficient time wise. All you need to do is set up a 301 permanent redirect for the domain.com to www.domain.com. This will insure that duplication is addressed and transfer the PR to the www. version.

This will prevent future issues that may arise in your link development. You may find yourself spending too much time trying to get everyone to follow a standard.


 5:24 am on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks a bunch for all the advice... think I will set that redirect up....



 5:42 am on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Another good thing about having this 301-Moved Permanently redirect in place is that in many cases, people copy links from their browser's address bar into their pages. So, having the redirect in place guarantees that the address bar will always show your "correct" URL, and greatly reduces occurrances of incorrect links in the first place.



 5:52 am on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

<<... it isn't common knowledge that a search engine will see the two url's as separate domains. >>

A lot of my competitors don't seem to know this, and I like it that way!


 11:22 am on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

All our links point to www.domain yet se's mostly list domain.com

Over server was reconfigured and now Google is starting to pick up both varients. As this could be dangerous I was thinging of using a 301 redirect from domain to www.domain. Will this work?


 1:55 pm on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

No, it wont work with 301, you need to use mod_rewrite.

See jdMorgans excellent answer:


 3:22 pm on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Wow, after checking some back links last night this is exactly the question I was going to ask today.

I used jdMorgans rewrite from the above thread on a test site:

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

It redirected request for mydomain.com to www.mydomain.com *except* requests for a specific page:

mydomain.com/index.html was not redirected to www.mydomain.com/index.html

So I went to Ralf Engelschall's version (which to my very untrained eye looks much the same except for the second RewriteCond statement)

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST}!^fully\.qualified\.domain\.name NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST}!^$
RewriteRule ^/(.*) [fully.qualified.domain.name...] [L,R]

and I couldn't get that to work at all. Then, when I went back to jdMorgans version and I can't get that to even partially work again.

It might be too much coffee this morning making me overlook something simple stupid (though I am remembering to save the new version before uploading it and am FTPing in ASCII).

Any hints much appreciated.



 3:52 pm on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

my eyes are untrained as well, but in the second option I think you *maybe* need to change NC] to [NC] (nc = no case). An did you remember to turn on rewrite engine in the first line as in the first example?

I also think should specify R=301 for permanent redirect, because the default (just the R) is a 302, which is temporarily moved.

I know I promised to reply with what worked for me in the thread I referred to, but off-computer life has taken up all my time lately. I'll be back.


 4:04 pm on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)


The only differences between the two rewrites you tried is that mine is intended for use in per-directory .htaccess, and Engleschall's is intended for use in httpd.conf. Also, a minor difference is that mine forces a 301 redirect, whereas Engleschall's uses the default 302.

The major difference is that in a per-directory environment, the leading slash has already been stripped from the requested URI, and therefore is not present for matching by the RewriteRule. Therefore, it does not appear in my RewriteRule's pattern.

Readers are cautioned that the WebmasterWorld forum software automatically deletes the required space preceding the "!" character in the rewrites above.

If you're still having trouble, post the code you're trying to use now in a new thread in Website Technology or the Scripting forum - Those are the major mod_rewrite hangouts.



 4:11 pm on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Thanks much. I'm going to give it a shot again in a couple of hours after some site updating. I'm sure you'll be hearing from me again.



 4:27 pm on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Under IIS Server, you can do the same. This is an article I wrote a while back, slightly modified:

Let's suppose that you have a web site [domain.com...] and you want [domain.com...] to do a client-side 301 error redirect to the [domain.com....] This is useful in several ways:

The client's browser will always show [domain.com,...] not [domain.com....]
Listings in a search engine will always show [domain.com....]

To perform the redirect, suppose that the content for www.domain.com comes from c:\inetpub\www-domain-com:

  1. Open Internet Services Manager and create a web site for domain.com. Make the content directory for the site be the same directory, c:\inetpub\www-domain-com, as www.domain.com.
  2. Test getting content from [domain.com....] This should work, but won't redirect yet.
  3. Select the domain.com web site in Internet Services manager and enter the properties.
  4. In the Home Directory tab, change the option button "When connecting to this resource the content should come from" to "A redirection to a URL".
  5. Specify the URL as [domain.com....]
  6. Check the checkbox that says "A permanent redirection for this resource."

A picture of the dialog can be found here [xoc.net], using my domain name instead of domain.com.


 10:44 pm on Jan 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google is smart enough to figure out the differnce between widget.com and www.widget.com or pinkwidget.com and bluewidget.com for that matter, if they are just aliases.

I would not worry about it. I have been doing this for years. I have several CNAMES aliases. Google just picks the one with the highest PR for display, and ignores the rest.

Now if you are trying to combine all your PR under
one site, yes use the redirects methods mention above.


 5:03 pm on Jan 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

mod_rewrite for a simple redirect? That's overkill, at least if you have access to httpd.conf. Set up a separate virtual host for domain.com, and put

RedirectPermanent / http://www.domain.com/

there. This is more efficient and MUCH easier to understand. I use this for all sites I set up, and it works perfectly.


 5:24 pm on Jan 28, 2003 (gmt 0)


That's the whole point. If you do not have access to httpd.conf, and can't set up a separate virtual host on which to install a simple RedirectPermanent, mod_rewrite will allow you to "sort out" the domains even after the server has been resolved.



 6:00 pm on Jan 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yeah, if you only have access to per-directory config you'll probably have just one virtual host for both and that will be a problem. You'll have an even bigger problem if mod_rewrite isn't available.

I consider the permanent domain.com -> www.domain.com redirect a reasonable default and set this up for all sites I host, solving the problem before my clients even ask. Unfortunately, not all hosting firms take an interest in satisfied customers.

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