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Are www.site.com and site.com the same?

 12:07 am on Jun 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Newbie with a question...

I've got a rather long domain name, and we promote our site as [thisisourdomain.com...]

We're in Yahoo's directory as [thisisourdomainname.com...]

When I check backlinks on Google, I get different results for [thisisourdomain.com...] and [thisisourdomainname.com...]

Isn't it obvious that Google should treat these two as equal? Yet I get a different number of backlinks, and DIFFERENT backlinks.

BTW, [webmasterworld.com...] has 8,720 backlinks, [webmasterworld.com...] has 32!

The Yahoo category which links to us is PR6, so I'd really like them to be the same, yet Yahoo won't let me submit a "Change Request" because they view the URLs as being the same... which of course, they are.

Will this effect the PR of my site? Does this seem like an obvious bug, or am I missing something?



 12:17 am on Jun 8, 2003 (gmt 0)


Welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com]!

> Isn't it obvious that Google should treat these two as equal?

Tricky question. It is not obvious that they should treat these as the same, because they are not the same. www.yourdomain.com is a subdomain of yourdomain.com, and need be no more "the same" than say, subscribers.yourdomain.com.

That said, Googlebot usually fetches pages from both www- and non-www domains if it finds links to both, and then compares the pages. If they are exactly the same content, Google will "merge" the PR and backlinks. But, this month's on-going update has been and is being weird - Toolbar PR is all confused, and so are many members here. Right now, there's a good chance your two domains have not been merged, and that's why you see the strange results.

If you would like to prevent this confusion, you can add a 301-Moved Permanently redirect from your domain to your www subdomain, or the other way around, to tell Google and the others that you wish to be listed by only one domain name.



 12:29 am on Jun 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

"If they are exactly the same content, Google will "merge" the PR and backlinks."

If googlebot comes to mysite.com via a link from anothersite.com on April 15th, it cached and ranked mysite.com then. If the rest of your exterior and interior links go to www.mysite.com and you have changed that page since the 15th, Google will be ranking them separately because the content that was there and cached on mysite.com is different than the content now on www.mysite.com. Next time googlebot crawls in from anothersite.com it will do the same.


 12:41 am on Jun 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Uh-oh... I've got some dynamically generated content.

Google's cache of www.mysite.com and mysite.com are different because I feature a "randomly selected" client which is different on every reload.

Google visits www.mysite.com and client John Doe comes up... visits mysite.com and client Jane Doe comes up, even though it is essentially the same page, google thinks they are two different pages, doesn't it?

Will the following PHP headers fix my problem? I want to be known as mysite.com and NOT www.mysite.com...

header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently");
header("Location: [mysite.com$REQUEST_URI");...]

... I would run the above code if www.mysite.com was requested. Would this convince Google to merge my PR from yahoo (which is linking to www.mysite.com) with my the rest of my PR (almost all other links point to mysite.com)



 12:52 am on Jun 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just to add to the fray, not all SE's are as thorough and adept as Google *despite their recent major screw up* ;-) ...meaning, many of them treat the variations as different pages.

Bottom line, pick one, and try to get all your internal and external backlinks pointing to the same place.

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