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Both "www" and non-"www" versions of domain in GWT

     
6:31 am on Jan 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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In Google Webmaster Tools i have both the domain of my site i.e without www and with www. I have set preferred domain as domain with www. I am using 301 redirect from non www to www. Also google display the results with preferred domain only.

Do i need to remove the non www domain from GWT ? Or it doesn't matter if it stays there?
9:43 am on Jan 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month

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If you try to remove it, it will come right back.

You will learn that many aspects of wmt simply make no sense and you will only get a headache if you try to understand them.

The two-versions issue does have a convoluted sort of explanation. It has to do with needing to show ownership of "both" sites in order to express a preference between the two.

See above about headache.
10:36 am on Jan 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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got it.. except this:
See above about headache.
11:35 am on Jan 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

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You can and should always register both www and non-www in WebmasterTools.

Several of the reports are separate for each: especially the crawl and linking reports.

It's a good way of finding out who is linking to the wrong one.

There's lots of other useful things to be gleaned from looking at the reports for the non-canonical one.
12:50 am on Jan 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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got it.. except this:
See above about headache.


In the previous paragraph I said:
you will only get a headache if you try to understand them


:)

Mm, timely reminder. I keep forgetting that the Links To Your Site list refers to that specific form of your sitename. If the list for your preferred form is not much much longer than the list for your not-preferred form, you may have a problem. (Do not ask me what kind of problem.)

:: detour to gwt ::

OK, why the bleep bleep are they listing a "not found" for a filename in the wrong form when I'm still using the shared-hosting copout yes, yes, I know of letting the host do the redirecting upfront? Any non-301 response would seem to be physically impossible.

No links to "wrong" name. Good.

The Search Queries and Index Status sections give the identical data for both name forms. Didn't they used to be separate? Or are they only separate when you don't set a preferred form?
2:47 am on Jan 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Any non-301 response would seem to be physically impossible.

Have you run a header check to make sure they really serve a 301 and not a 302?

'Back in the day' of the '302 Bug' one huge issue that forced webmasters to install their own redirects via .htaccess and likely helped prompt Google (and Yahoo!) to 'break protocol' and treat 302s much closer to 301s is hosting company redirects have always leaned toward using 302s, so you could actually 'hijack your own site' unintentionally unless you installed your own .htaccess redirects AND backed any set via control panel out of their system.

But, as far as hosts go, since they don't know whether the redirect is permanent or temporary, because it's 'not their site or decision', it's really the 'most correct' option for them to use, so that's still (afaik) what many 'stick with' when you redirect via the control panel or something similar.

There were even cases where if you didn't hand code the redirects yourself you could end up with a 302 you thought you 'set in the system' as a 301, and until the ability to hijack site's rankings in search engines was discovered, it really wasn't a big deal...

Anyway, you might just want to double check and make sure the response is really a 301 if you're relying on the host to 'get it right', because even though they've gotten better, they totally sucked for a long time when it came to actually sending a 301 redirect.
5:50 am on Jan 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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fwiw, it's definitely a 301 in logs. But those of course go through the host...

:: detour to Firefox, which reminds me that I never did try the new version 10,895 I installed a few days ago ::

Yup, it's a 301.
6:05 am on Jan 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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LMAO @ 10,895!

They tell me like once a week it's time for a new version, so I stopped updating ... Was just making sure on the 301, because I know it used to be next to impossible to get one out of a host, so I've been writing and running my own redirects for about 7 years and haven't bothered to check anywhere I have sites any more and only know '2nd hand' from reading around here and talking to people some hosts still seem to struggle with the idea of sending a 301 header ... It's tough you know? Gotta make the system write [R=301] on the end of the rule and everything lol
9:51 am on Jan 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@lucy, Maybe i am not the experience guy here, but sorry i am able to understand everyone's reply except you. Bye the way is my issue is hijacked by someone else and where it is going i have no idea.
12:50 pm on Jan 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Short answer: You are not doing anything wrong and you do not need to change anything :)
 

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