Msg#: 4629557 posted 8:00 am on Dec 11, 2013 (gmt 0)
And since now Google has removed the "Set Preferred Domain" option from the Webmaster Tools, I can't set the preferred version of the URL.
This has not been removed, it is still in WMT. You must add the site without www to your WMT account and verify it. Then go to that site in WMT and in the top right, to the right of the "Help" button there is a settings icon (round circle).
Click on it and select the option "Site setting" and you will find the option to set up preferred domain in there.
However I agree with bluntforce that if you have both version indexed, then your redirects are not set up properly.
Msg#: 4629557 posted 8:31 am on Dec 11, 2013 (gmt 0)
When I started, I did not know or understand that a site could be: http://www.example.com http://www.example.com/ http://example.com http://www.example.com
The list could go on somewhat endlessly. When you've seen how search engines and outside sites may choose to link to your site, it's often beneficial to choose ONE form for your URL and make sure that everything links to that one form, all other form varieties get properly redirected to that one form.
It's one of the basics to make sure all visitors can reach your site and all potential link juice is delivered properly to your site.
Msg#: 4629557 posted 9:48 am on Dec 11, 2013 (gmt 0)
So you mean that I should First submit my domain in Webmaster, "without WWW" & Verify it. Then submit my domain "with WWW" and verify it.
Then set my Preferred domain as "www.abc.com" while placing a 301 code in the header of "http://abc.com" and finally from the "Change of Address" mention that my "without www" version has moved to "with www" version
Msg#: 4629557 posted 7:39 pm on Dec 11, 2013 (gmt 0)
You must not do "change of address".
But the rest you got right:
- add www.example.com and example.com (without www) to Google Webmaster Tools - Verify both sites (uploading the verification file in domain root and make sure that the verification file does not redirect - Select your prefered domain in WMT as www.example.com - Implement redirects from non-www to www version of the domain