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www.example.com has a PHP location: redirect to home.example.com and google has always had www.example.com as the "homepage". It properly indexes everything and I have the same PR on www., home., and without the www so I'm not concerned about the PR.
What I'm curious about is, should my "Home" link in my nav link to home.example.com or www.example.com (the URL google has indexed as "Home"). It's currently linked to home.example.com.
Thoughts? Opinions? Rants? Thanks!
That takes some guts...
I highly recommend you read up on canonical problems and penalties, as well as duplicate content problems and penalties, associated with domain/sub-domain content duplication and pick a single version of your domain to host your site.
My first post.
I'd love to read more - Do you have any specific links that you could recommend to read up on these problems/penalties?
> read up on canonical problems and penalties, as well as duplicate content problems and penalties, associated with domain/sub-domain content duplication <
If you hit example.com or www.example.com you are directed to home.example.com where the homepage is.
Here are the response codes:
#2 Server Response: [home.example.com...]
HTTP Status Code: HTTP/1.1 200 OK
I'm just wondering if, since google lists www.example.com as the homepage, I should follow their lead and link to www.example.com and just let it redirect to home.example.com.
Thanks for the tip.
I tried that but all I got was ton of threads that referred to canonical but I haven't found what a canonical is.
Does it mean someone who is breaking the search engine rules or is there something specific that is done to make the action "canonical"?
I even checked out the Webmasterworld glossary.
I'm sorry for the rookie question.
redirect to home.example.com and google has always had www.example.com as the "homepage"
You're giving them a temp 302, so not surprising. Try changing it to a 301 (much safer too).
ADDED: That is, if you intend the hompage to always be the "home" sudomain. Of course, you could drop in the serps while G digests the permanent 301 redirect, so maybe, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
[edited by: Stefan at 10:24 pm (utc) on Jan. 28, 2006]
The problem is not that you actually have duplicate copy but that Google can 'think' you do if you have two or more urls going the same place
Boston, You are right, there are so many messages that talk about canonical problems and it's very hard to find one that explains it. I know there have been some but I sure can't find any now.
Try searching 'canonical google' on the web in general, not just webmaster world, and hopefully you can find the information you need.
The canonical domain is the "usual and proper" or "correct" single domain name for a given site.
If your server allows your site to be directly accessed under multiple domains (e.g. example.com, home.example.com, and www.example.com as discussed in this thread), then you risk the so-called "duplicate-content penalty" at worst, and mixed-up and confused search results for your site at best. The "duplicate-content penalty" is, in all but the most egregious cases, probably just a result of allowing a page's PageRank and/or Link Popularity to be split across multiple domains -- The search engines see them as separate pages, one in each domain, in other words.
For best results, you want your site to return 200-OK status for requests only for pages in the canonical domain. Requests for pages in other domains that resolve to your server should result in the server responding with a 301-Moved Permanently redirect to the same page in the canonical domain. No other response should be allowed if you want 'optimal' results. If a host can't/won't support this function, then move to a new host.
If a new site is configured from the very start with this mechanism in place, then many ranking and some "hijacking" problems [webmasterworld.com] can be avoided.
More here [webmasterworld.com].
But if Google lists www.example.com as canonical page, this is the URL you should link to. Linking to home.example.com could start canonical problems.
You should consider changing the configuration so the home page were always at www.example.com without using home. subdomain and the redirect, but I wouldn't change the redirect to 301, because it would force Google to change the URL it thinks to be canonical, and such changes might hurt ranking for a period of time.