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Google Webmaster Tools - www vs non-www
shaunm




msg:4584110
 9:02 am on Jun 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi All,

Today I was forwarded with Google's Webmaster tool alert message saying that the Googlebot couldn't access the site by our dev team.

Google reports a domain without the sub-domain 'www' part such as http://example.com whereas our actual site is http://www.example.com.

The one without 'www' is nowhere to seen in the GWT profile page so I asked to check the account using which this non-www version might have been added.

My question is:
1. Can you add two versions(www and non-www) of the same domain using two different GWT accounts? Or using a single account for that matter?
2. As we all know, Google has site preference setting to chose if we want to go with 'www' or without 'www'. But still how could someone have added the non-www version to their account while we manage the domain with www?

Thanks for all your help.

 

lucy24




msg:4584320
 8:37 pm on Jun 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

Today I was forwarded with Google's Webmaster tool alert message saying that the Googlebot couldn't access the site

This part, by itself, can be ignored. It's a long-standing known issue. You can test it for yourself using Fetch As Googlebot.

I don't see the part where you tried and failed to add the without version to your own account. You have to put in both versions explicitly, even though g assumes it is the same domain. Yes, you yourself have to maintain Duplicate Content in wmt ;) Some areas, notably Links To Your Site, carry separate information for the two forms of the name.

phranque




msg:4584411
 4:59 am on Jun 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

you can verify separate "site" profiles for any subdomain and even for subdirectories of a hostname.
as long as the verification file resolves for http://subdomain.example.com/google0123456789abcdef.html or http://subdomain.example.com/subdirectory/google0123456789abcdef.html then you can verify the subdomain or subdirectory "site".

it's definitely worth verifying both www and non-www hostnames to detect any issues with that.

shaunm




msg:4584775
 4:49 am on Jun 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

@lucy24
Thank you for replying on my post :-)
This part, by itself, can be ignored. It's a long-standing known issue. You can test it for yourself using Fetch As Googlebot.


I see this message now and then with various sites, and Google reports that there is something wrong with DNS Server IP set up. Since you must have had so much of experience in this, did you try to change something in your DNS set up which solved the problem? Or you just ignored it only testing it with 'fetch as G?

@phranque
Thank you! Could you both please help me with my following question?

@lucy24 & phranque
You have to put in both versions explicitly, even though g assumes it is the same domain

it's definitely worth verifying both www and non-www hostnames to detect any issues with that


I have put a server level redirect from non www version to the www version. So, how can I actually verify the site without the www? Sorry if it sounds stupid, because when I am going to type in the verification URL such as http://example.com/google0514411.html it will get redirected to the www version, won't the verification fails by that?

And again @lucy24
Yes, you yourself have to maintain Duplicate Content in wmt ;)

Why should I be needing to do that? Will that work when I have a canonical tag to the www version on non-www version? Because each page in www version acts as its own canonical.
Some areas, notably Links To Your Site, carry separate information for the two forms of the name.

Isn't the site preference setting for this? Where you select your preferred domain with or without www and save changes? Also there is a server level redirect on the site, any backlinks from external sources added without www, will be redirect to the link with www. Won't G reports all this backlinks under http://www.example.com?

Thank you for all help!

Best

g1smd




msg:4584807
 6:59 am on Jun 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

If you have incoming links to example.com/page1 www.example.com/page2 example.com/page3 and www.example.com/page4 the data for page 1 and 3 will show up in the WMT reports for example.com and the data for page 2 and 4 will show up in the reports for www.example.com

Data for page 1 and 3 might also show up in the report for www.example.com tagged as "via example.com".

shaunm




msg:4584808
 7:12 am on Jun 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

@g1smd
Thank you so much!
Data for page 1 and 3 might also show up in the report for www.example.com tagged as "via example.com"


When you mentioned 'data' did you mean to say that example.com and will be reported as an external source website that brings traffic to www.example.com?

Best,

shaunm




msg:4584809
 7:14 am on Jun 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

@g1smd
Please ignore my above post. I could understand what did you mean by 'via example.com' :-)

So when this Google can reports links with this 'via' option, does that mean I don't have to be worried about adding the non-www verson to the GWT account?

Thank you guys for all your help!

aakk9999




msg:4584886
 12:05 pm on Jun 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

No need to worry. Just add the non-www version to the same WMT account, verify it, then go to WMT Settings of your www version of domain and set your preferred domain to be one with www.

shaunm




msg:4584888
 12:12 pm on Jun 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

@aakk9999
Thank you!

I am finally settled with adding the non-www version. But I would like to know how can I verify a domain which redirects non-www version to www version?

Best,

shaunm




msg:4584894
 12:28 pm on Jun 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi All,

Sorry I almost forgot that we don't need any verification when we already own the www version and have verified it already.

Thanks for all your help again :-)

g1smd




msg:4584899
 12:37 pm on Jun 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

It is useful to look through the non-www reports perhaps once per month (once per week to begin with) just in case there is something found that you need to deal with.

shaunm




msg:4584946
 2:36 pm on Jun 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

g1smd
Thanks again and thanks all of you :-)

lucy24




msg:4584986
 4:24 pm on Jun 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

But I would like to know how can I verify a domain which redirects non-www version to www version?

The redirect itself tells g### that both domains are yours. But it will only see the redirect if it asks for the "wrong" version of the name. That's why you have to list both forms of all names.

shaunm




msg:4585607
 7:25 am on Jun 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

@lucy24

Thank you :-)

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