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Google displaying non-www as www
netmeg




msg:4222193
 2:09 pm on Oct 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I noticed this morning that Google was displaying the home page of one of my sites as www, when I've had the www 301'd to non-www since it launched in April. And I was sure I had the preference set in GWT, but when I went to check, it said no preference. It's been non-www all along today.

But then I went and checked another site, and that one is displaying at www too - and when I checked GWT, it says that it IS set to non-www preference.

@sharkseo also seeing similar.

What's up with that?

 

HuskyPup




msg:4222231
 3:24 pm on Oct 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Errr...what is going on?

I decided to check my main B&M company name and in Google.co.uk my example.com is showing my url-forwarded example.us in the titlebar and my example.co.uk is showing my example.com in the titlebar and in Google.com I am now the last result on the first page again showing example.us in the titlebar for my .com!

HuskyPup




msg:4222239
 3:32 pm on Oct 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Also just found my example.asia showing my example.cn in the titlebar and my example.asia displaying example.com!

netmeg




msg:4222544
 1:50 am on Oct 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Ok, now I have sites showing https pages, and I had that blocked off too. Google needs an oil change.

tedster




msg:4222548
 2:24 am on Oct 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Sounds like a back end dataset may be leaking into the public results somehow. Very creepy.

indyank




msg:4222572
 3:14 am on Oct 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes. It does look like google is loosening up a lot these days...something wrong in they way they maintain and manage changes...

g1smd




msg:4228390
 10:46 am on Nov 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've been seeing odd stuff with www/non-www handling since at least Feb 2010.

There's something fundamentally wrong somewhere in the system.

WMT reports don't match reality, for sure. As for the SERPs for "site:" searches, all is not well there either.

indyank




msg:4228396
 11:17 am on Nov 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

I noticed this morning that Google was displaying the home page of one of my sites as www, when I've had the www 301'd to non-www since it launched in April

Oh, atlast I found this thread again.So, netmeg it is you who raised it and it is you who was the first to verify both the www and non-www versions in webmaster tools and even suggested that it is normal. But then why does google wanting us to do this after several years? Some sites are in existence for more than 5 years and google was fine with us verifying only one version (subdomain).

Does anyone has an idea on why google is asking us to do this now? I don't see any reason (atleast me) why there should be two different owners for www and non-www versions.When there cannot be two different owners (technically it is possible in GWT), why is google asking us to verify ownership for versions that we 301 redirect to the other. Infact, we even tell google about out preferred version in GWT.

These messages have been triggered recently and there seems to be something wrong or google is using this information for a purpose, good or bad.


WMT reports don't match reality, for sure. As for the SERPs for "site:" searches, all is not well there either.


I even notice GWT showing some crawl errors (end of october and start of november) while clicking through them shows the detected dates falling as early as in 2009!

Victor1




msg:4229445
 3:03 am on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I am also having trouble with www's - on wordpress sites which G is not adding the www too.

Eg. the home page now has WWW and say 17 links to it and ranks 21 and the non www which has 329 links to it has been dropped from the results and it used to rank 4

This exact same thing has happened on 3 word press sites I manage in the last while

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4229480
 7:30 am on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing the problem as well, whatever I've had specified for years seems to have "flipped" to the opposite. What was set in GWT is no longer set. htaccess permanent 301 redirects that have been in place for years are being ignored.

As far as I'm concerned it looks very silly on Google's end, mine hasn't changed and so I'll waste no time on it.

Lame_Wolf




msg:4229488
 9:07 am on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I wonder if it is a knock-on effect from changing from IPv4 to IPv6. Just a thought.

Victor1




msg:4229600
 3:54 pm on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

on wordpress sites which G is not adding the www too


Selling mistakes completely changes the meaning - Correction - It is G is noW adding the www to sites.

Before the site url was mysite.com with 300+ links

now it is www.mysite.com with only a few links and no longer on page one for the main keyword.

netmeg




msg:4229623
 4:56 pm on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

I haven't noticed any changes in ranking or pages indexed. Just the home pages being listed as www. And it's not happening for all the sites I own or oversee. Just some.

Probably should clarify about GWT. First of all, as far as I know, they are only asking you to verify both www and non-www if you tell GWT to set a preference. At least that's the way it is with my hundreds of sites. The only ones I have to verify both ways are the ones where I've gone in and told Google to display my site as either www or non-www (instead of leaving it up to G to figure out)

And having to verify both actually makes sense to me; they're not necessarily verifying that you OWN both, but that you control both. www is pretty much considered a subdomain, and it is entirely possible that two different entities could control two different sites on www and non-www. It may be rare, but it's possible, and by verifying both, G makes sure that when you establish the preference, you're not advertently or inadvertently wiping out another site. I also have to verify my other subdomains, like blog.example.com and store.example.com. www is just another subdomain, really.

potentialgeek




msg:4229649
 6:00 pm on Nov 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yeah, that was slightly annoying. I had to check my settings to see if I'd made a mistake.

Consistency would look neater in Google Results. It would also look more professional.

tedster




msg:4229839
 3:50 am on Nov 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've heard from several more people that Google is getting the no-www and with-www wrong for their sites, even with the canonical 301 accurately in place. This is apparently a new bug and perhaps a sign of some extensive back end work that went awry somewhere.

Netmeg is a senior member and has been doing excellent SEO for a good while. Her report alone should be enough to name it a bug. But with more people noticing the same thing, that means it is a relatively common bug, and it's lasting a long time, too. Really makes me go hmmmm.

micklearn




msg:4230140
 5:37 am on Nov 14, 2010 (gmt 0)

Some of this is confusing to me, so, I really appreciate any answers that follow. I'm trying to wrap my brain around all of this.

1. Does a bug mean that poor programming took place, a mistake?

2. Are subdomains being hijacked somehow, somewhere? Is that something we need to look out for?

netmeg




msg:4230532
 3:04 pm on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

For me it's just a display bug. As far as I can tell, it hasn't affected any rankings or traffic. But it's difficult to tell because the main site where I first noticed this is the one I just moved to an entirely new platform (we flipped the switch on Sept 25) and there was an expected drop in G traffic while the new urls were being processed. That seems to have gone well and is mostly finished - except for the home page, which still displays as www. I know it's been crawled, as it is displaying the new title and meta description, and our sitelinks have changed to match our new navigation. Traffic is beginning to climb again, although almost all the rankings are going to the home page (which is www)

The other sites don't seem to have lost anything either.

thanks, tedster!

Victor1




msg:4230554
 3:56 pm on Nov 15, 2010 (gmt 0)

the rankings came back on one of the site's that G started indexing with the www (less links to www and lower rankings) - now it shows with no www and now back on page one. Traffic has returned.

this has happened to this site twice - hopefully it will be the last

netmeg




msg:4237883
 3:37 pm on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Updating - this site is STILL displayed as www (for the home page ONLY) in the SERPs. All other pages are displayed non-www. It's not really affecting anything as far as I can tell, but it looks odd.

tedster




msg:4238018
 8:06 pm on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Oddities like this can often be a window into the back end tangle, I mean infrastructure, that Google operates. Just wish I had some insights from this one.

g1smd




msg:4238030
 8:49 pm on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Check how many external sites link to the www and to the now-www version.

Are there any links to a named index page instead of just example.com/ here?

netmeg




msg:4238065
 10:32 pm on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Not that I can see, but there are a lot of links to the www version. Some of them are on what appear to be largely abandoned sites, so I haven't been able to get them updated.

g1smd




msg:4238081
 10:50 pm on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

It might be that "incoming external links" trumps "internal linking".

Use the Live HTTP Headers extension for Firefox to make absolutely sure that the redirect is a 301 redirect, not 302. Also check it's a single step redirect, not a redirection chain.

Victor1




msg:4238104
 11:48 pm on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

one of my sites has flipped back to the WWW version and a drop to #44 for the home page from #10 - the www.mysite shows only about 1/20th of the links that the regular mysite.com homepage

This site has flipped-flopped about 4 times now.

tedster




msg:4238125
 1:26 am on Dec 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Victor1, does that site also use a canonical 301 and have you indicated a preference in Google Webmaster Tools?

netmeg




msg:4238140
 2:11 am on Dec 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Use the Live HTTP Headers extension for Firefox to make absolutely sure that the redirect is a 301 redirect, not 302. Also check it's a single step redirect, not a redirection chain.


Already have. I learned from the best.

g1smd




msg:4238520
 10:30 pm on Dec 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Oooops. As often happens, I forgot to look to see who asked the question.

However, even if I had looked, I usually seek to write answers that will be useful to readers in the distant future, not just the original poster.

I'm out of ideas.

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