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Why does www & non-www GTW show different links?

     
5:05 pm on Apr 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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So if my site is https://www.example.tld and I have properties in GTW created for:

https://www.example.tld
https://example.tld
http://www.example.tld
http://www.example.tld

And all of them list the "preferred domain" as www.example.tld doesn't that mean that there should be NO "Links to my Site" assigned to the non-www urls because that credit should be transferred to the www versions?

I don't understand why when I check GTW > Search Traffic > Links to Your Site for https://example.tld, it says there are 12 links. Why are there any? Shouldn't all these be ignored or applied to the https://www.example.com property? The https://www.example.com currently shows 16K+ links but still, I would think anytime you type in non-www it 301 redirects you to www, so any link juice from non-www should be getting pushed over to www.

I'm kind of confused here.

[edited by: engine at 8:54 am (utc) on Apr 5, 2016]
[edit reason] please use example.com [/edit]

6:18 pm on Apr 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Google sees the www and non-www URLs as different sites. They have always suggested that you use "all versions" of your domain in the GSC. That is why a lot of webmasters make certain there is only one, it ends confusion and if anyone links to http://www.example.com as http://example.com it is indexed as www because you can't get to http://example.com anyway. It avoids concerns about "duplicate content" too.

If you are hosted on an Apache server you can use different methods, for most it is an htaccess rule. You can read about it in this old thread from the Apache Forum Library: [webmasterworld.com...]
6:18 pm on Apr 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Webmaster Tools is not applying the processing of links that would be done by the algorithm (or listing all of he links Google is aware of, for that matter). You'll see nofollowed, disavowed etc. links in there. So, it's an annoyance, but if you want data direct from Google, you have to live with questionable data quality.
7:08 pm on Apr 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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

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This is a google mind trick developed expressly to keep webmasters in utter FUD and cringing, begging, pleading ....

Nah, that's not it. Must be something else. :)

Aside: Do the non or www at YOUR site level if you can (see not2easy above) and never let g guess at which you prefer. Also, their canonical has a tendency to break for the oddest reasons.

Sadly, if you are late to the game in making the site level change it will take decades for g to get it write (sic ... but that also includes "right"!) as they, like all good search engines, never forget a url it has indexed.
7:56 pm on Apr 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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It doesn't take that long if the [R,301] flag is used because it is seen as a permanent new URL for an old URL and the new one replaces the old for indexing. Not overnight, but not decades either. ;)
8:32 pm on Apr 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I should have left the s plural off. I still get hit for urls which did disappear via 301, 404, or 410 ten and more years ago. Not crazy bad, just never ever goes away. Sigh.