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Robots cannot determine wether you're the owner of both www.example.com and example.com -- technically there could be two different owners: one that owns the example.com and another that owns the www.example.com, or so I have read (though I have actually never seen an example where there were one owner for www.example.com and another owner for example.com).
Googlebot sees example.com and www.example.com as two different web adresses, which also means that if you don't take care of the cannonical issue, then every page than can be accessed as both www. and non-www. could get a split PR.
technically there could be two different owners: one that owns the example.com and another that owns the www.example.com, or so I have read
Nah thats a complete load of crap, The domain has only one owner. Do not confuse domain ownership with canonical issues - its a different subject.
[edited by: tedster at 1:25 am (utc) on Dec. 16, 2006]
Nah thats a complete load of crap, The domain has only one owner. Do not confuse domain ownership with cannoical issues its a different subject and based on your posts something you know nothing about.
And a Merry X-mas to you too :)
Question: If that's "a load of crab", then why do Google see www.example.com as different from example.com -- why do we need to take care of the cannonical issue at all?
The answer of that question is the explanation I mentioned and the answer I have read somewhere on Google Groups I believe, probably as an answer from a Google employee to someone asking this question.
could all be different pages of the same domain, website. This potentially, has google related consequences if not handled, i.e duplicate content, pr dilution
Generally, a domain will be controled by one party, sub domains , usually, can only be created by the party in control of the website,
No, you never will, because "www" is a subdomain of example.com, as would be search.example.com, or anything else prefixed to example.com. So, you can only register example.com, not www.example.com. However, once you have registered example.com, you can create as many subdomains as you like, as long as your hosting comapny allows and supports it.
The reason the search engines consider that www.example.com and example.com *may* be the same site is that hosting companies typically set up hosting accounts with the www.example.com 'aliased' to example.com by default. And the reason that they do this is that in the old days when servers couldn't handle more than one site, it was common for a company named "Example, Incorporated" to use example.com for private internal use, and www.example.com for public (World-Wide-Web) access. And these might even be hosted on different servers.
There are many levels of canonicalization, ranging from the protocol (HTTP vs. HTTPS) to the domain, all the way down to filenames and script-calling parameters. And to answer the original question, yes, it's important to get this right and to run a tight ship. Canonicalizing URLs to prevent duplicate-content problems, with "PR splitting" among them, is important enough that we had this thread title recently: Duplicate Content - Get it right or perish [webmasterworld.com]