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Yahoo Serps Showing Domain With and Without "www"

What Does that Mean?



9:49 pm on Jan 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My Yahoo SERPS for my domain have been coming up without the "www" ie. "mydomain.com" instead of "www.mydomain.com".

Without the "www" my SERPS are dramatically worse.

Is there anyway to prevent the spiders/search engines from dropping the "www"? or
should I be redirecting the non-www url to the address that includes it?

For example if I type in IE [webmasterworld.com...] it will "redirect"? to [webmasterworld.com...]

Is this advantageous?



2:00 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just to reiterate if my last post wasn't clear enough:

I have a site that has a listing in the Yahoo directory, which up until a few days ago was being displayed in the search results for all applicable keywords as my Yahoo directory listing.

The text link url listed in the search results was www.mydomain.com

Just recently, my site results is a spidered version, which seemed okay at first glance, except that the text link url in the results is mydomain.com - "www" omitted.

I definitely get worse search results as the url without the "www" included doesn't have any links pointing to it, only the complete url with the "www" included in the address.

How does the spider crawl my site and display without the "www" in the address in the search results?

How do I change this?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.



2:13 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

you need to 301 the non www to the www version..right now you have two identical websites as far as yahoo is concerned..someone must be linking to you without the www i would assume...


3:42 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for the quick reply. I just checked my server...and it turns out that the server name was set at mydomain.com vs. www.mydomain.com.

I changed the setting, but how do I create the 301 redirect. Somebody mentioned a rewrite change in the server config file, is this the same thing?

Am I going to have an issue with Yahoo, et al with 2 identical sites?

I clicked on the "more from this site" and it seems that all the pages indexed have the "www" included.

Please let me know what I should do next.

Thanks again


5:36 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^mydomain.com
RewriteRule (.*) [mydomain.com...] [R=301,L]


5:59 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Check your internal link structure, too.
It's really easy to code your "home" button or logo.gif as domain.com/index.htm or domain.com versus www.domain.com.

In your case it may be someone on the outside linking to you in that manner, but it's good to check your internal links structure as well.


11:58 pm on Jan 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

rshandy wrote "Am I going to have an issue with Yahoo, et al with 2 identical sites?"

I would like to know this too. Would Y penalize a site for having links on pages with and without the www.?


12:35 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

if you have two complete sites indexed..one with the www prefix and one without then as far as any search engine is concerned you have two identical sites..at the very least one will/should be filtered for duplicate content..historically Yahoo has not been great to say the least at recognising the genuine or first site indexed...in fact when the non-www has clearly been indexed second and has fewer inbound links by a huge factor it has still indexed and ranked the non www and throw out the www site....the non www has then been ranked on the fewer inbounds...


12:59 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thank you all for your excellent posts! I hope I've caught this issue in time to negate the duplicate site penalty issues.


2:19 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I spoke with my hosting company and, they said that no one there is comfortable using the rewrite mod function, and... they won't support it.

Before I attempt to modify the Apache config files, it is absolutely necessary to make this change and if so, what other potential pitfalls should I be aware of?



2:29 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

nobody is comfortable...what on earth does that mean?...you just need to add the code to our htacess file.


3:16 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

I do hope this isn't going to confuse everybody however for at least 6 years I have submitted to all the SE's a specific domain as follows:

word1-word2.com, I do also own word1word2.com.

Every link on the site is, and has always been, hardcoded word1-word2.com/extention.html

Now the reason I tell you this is because both Yahoo! and Google have also spidered and indexed www.word1-word2.com amd www.word1word2.com even though they only point at word1-word2.com. There is no content on the other three.

None of the 4 derivatives have had any kind of penalty imposed on them and, depending which way the wind is blowing, they serve up the results as they seem to think fit.

The most results are served up under word1-word2.com however at least 40% of my traffic for this site comes through the other urls...

What does this tell me?

That Yahoo! and Google do not seem to impose a penalty for identical sites under the same or hyphenated URL served under www. and without and all 1,000+ keywords are ranked #~1-3.

I even use my Google Adsense Channels to see which one is performing the best.

I have absolutely no doubt that others have experienced exactly the opposite...could the age of this site have anything to do with it?

In my case as the saying goes "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".


4:44 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks Soapystar. Sorry I sound so tentative - Unfortunately, every time I have changed something on this server, the host has made bad mistakes in either advice or modifications causing me major headaches.

Do you incorporate this code on every website you're are associated with?


8:01 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


i have to say yes...that and a robots.txt are the first two files up...do you really need the host for an .htaccess file?

btw...do you use frontpage extensions?

when you say they only point at the www's, how do you mean point?


8:39 pm on Jan 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

No, I really don't need the host to obtain access. We're really "green" when it comes to server setup and configuration. This is the first time we've used a VPS server, so we had the host setup the virtual host and they named it "mydomain.com" instead of "www.mydomain.com" which I think caused this whole problem?! does that make sense?

We just recently changed the virtual host name to "www.mydomain.com". When Yahoo/google/etc. spiders crawl our site, will they now return the url with the "www"?

Would it make sense to wait until AFTER the site gets re-spidered and then change the htaccess to include the rewrite, OR do it now?

If the spider recaptures the correct url w/ the "www" in the next crawl, it would partially resolve the duplicate site issue - and then I can include the rewrite to prevent it from happening again.

This is what's perplexing. Am I thinking about it right?

Thanks again soapystar


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