Domain Name with WWW or without WWW

Domains

There are instances where you may have seen certain domains which are named without www like http://domain.com and there are still many which you have seen as http://www.domain.com.

But what is the basic difference between these two and what to choose for your domain name is still the question for many of the new bloggers and webmasters.

Most of the webmasters who are new in blogging don’t just bother about looking at this issue. They simply think that these both are just having same name and they can access their websites and blogs without caring for it. But it can make big difference when they get high backlinks and when other sites generally link to them one way.

So what’s the Basic Difference between the two domains with the prefix www and without www?

You may be surprised to know that search engines like Google, Yahoo and others treat these two links as different sites. What can you think it may result in a long run?

In a long run you may end up with the two sites that are different names but are having same pages and content. For instance if you are successful in getting high backlinks after some time from which part of them are for www and part are for non www, you will be actually getting some low backlinks according to the search engines that contribute to each of the two differently. Also there arises duplicate conflicts for the two sites and your site can be negatively affected by the search engines.

What should you do to avoid link popularity spreading between www and non-www domain?

The very first thing you have to do is to register for Google Webmaster Tools. It’s a free to use by Google by which you can get all the stats and analytics about your site and how it is going in search engines. By just adding simple codes within your sites you can know it all free of cost. If you have a Gmail or blogger account or maybe you have feed burner account you can login from that also.

After registering there you should decide about your domain name whether you want it as www or without www. This is an essential decision of yours which can result in better search engine rankings if you opt for one. After you have decided for which to have you can use very important feature of Google Webmaster Tools for setting your preferred domain.

For adding your site to this tool you should verify your site with both the domains i.e. with and without www. After adding and verifying your site you can change the settings on My Sites page and then clicking Preferred Domain from the Diagnostic tab.

You can then choose from the following:

  • Display URLs as http://www.yoursite.com
  • Display URLs as http://yoursite.com
  • Don’t set an association

This is the part where you have to choose your option carefully. When you use one of them Google will crawl through that page only and also see the other part as the same. This does not create any confusion for the search engines and your site can be better ranked. Also you will see your URL which you choose in the browser whenever you open your webpage.

If you choose don’t set an association, Google may treat the www and without www versions of the domain as references to separate pages. This all helps Google to pass out all the ranking to one domain that you have selected. This therefore results in getting better page rank and indexing.

Here is a quote from Google’s help center which may help you out in understanding the things better:

“The preferred domain is the one that you would liked used to index your site’s pages (sometimes this is referred to as the canonical domain). Links may point to your site using both the www and non-www versions of the URL (for instance, http://www.example.com and http://example.com). The preferred domain is the version that you want used for your site in the search results. Once you tell us your preferred domain name, it may help us determine PageRank for your site more accurately.”

Also keep in mind that after choosing the one you should now follow this particular format of your domain for building all the outbound as well as inbound links for your site.

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5 thoughts on “Domain Name with WWW or without WWW

  1. Hi,
    I found your site from DP
    and it looks very interesting.
    I think there is no difference between domains that use those that do not use www. and until this moment I prefer to use without the www, because it looks more simple

  2. Hi,
    I’m having problems with this whole process…
    I have verified one version of my website on google webmaster tools, with a www. prefix
    But I am trying to verify the non-www version but am having a problem.
    I created a new website in webmaster tools but cannot verify it.
    Any ideas?
    Thanks.

    1. The www and non www versions are easy to get verified at webmasters tools. look that whether you are not making any mistake and try it again. You will get it verified. also it is important that you set your preferred domain from your settings so that only one of them gets indexed in Google. For that go to..

      Site configurations
      ..settings
      ….select your preferred domain.

  3. I think you haven’t noticed that with Google webmaster tools could assign the Google crawlers to both versions with or without prefix so just add both web sites and the bot will crawl them regularly. You have a choice to define with or without prefix option.

    1. Right said webmaster, but it is known that if you fix search engines to crawl only with one version you can get better results. Although this do not affect the site. Your site is assessable for both the domains, i.e. with and without WWW.

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