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non-www / www 301 redirects

Techies don't get it. How do I explain?

     
1:23 am on Feb 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

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I'm giving some SEO advice to a friend who has several sites and I'm baffled about how to explain something to his technical people.

At present he has URLs in circulation both with and without the www. bit, which is a significant weak point in his SEO.

I asked to have 301 redirects put in place so his URLs would always resolve to the www. version, but his techies don't seem to understand what I'm asking and they haven't implemented it accurately. One site uses 302 redirects to land users on the www. version, while another site resolves the way I want for the home page but internal pages don't.

I'm not strong on technical stuff, but on my own server I'd know what to do and could make it happen in two minutes. But his server is a Windows something-or-other and I don't know what to tell the techies that I haven't already said. Among other things I showed them how Webmaster World URLs behave if you type an URL without the www. but they still don't get it.

I fear his techies already think I'm a nagging nincompoop, but I'd really like to get this implemented.

Can someone help me explain this to a team of nice guys who are 2000 miles away?

2:24 am on Feb 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Two words: ISAPI Rewrite

Speak only to one of those persons who knows those words. :)

Ref: [webmasterworld.com...]

Jim

7:23 pm on Feb 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Have them create an .htaccess file like this (note you will need an *nix server, will not work on Windows!)

Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yourdomain.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ [yourdomain.com...] [L,R=301]

hope this works for you and if you have other questions please let me know!

9:41 pm on Feb 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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> But his server is a Windows something-or-other

Not Apache...

Jim

11:16 pm on Feb 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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ahhh oops, just noticed that. Bad form mate, get linux on that box ASAP!

[edited by: Gomvents at 11:16 pm (utc) on Feb. 18, 2007]

10:28 am on Feb 28, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

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The www/non-www 301 redirect is just one thing your friend has to worry about. On a Windows server case in URLs is ignored and every URL can be entered with uppercase, lowercase and any combination thereof creating a massive amount of potential duplicate content problems.

If Google is your main concern, an alternative might be to create a Google Webmaster account for your friend and mention in Google Webmaster's console that the www and non-www URLs belong to the same site. This doesn't solve the upper/lowercase problems though.