Ok, is there really a difference in a URL with or without the www?

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by John Dough, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. John Dough

    John Dough Regular Member

    Nov 3, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Ok. I've been doing this a while. So the fact that I don't know the answer to this bothers me.

    Say I have a site. for example we will use


    Now, I also use market samurai. They have a ranktracker module that watches your ranks and , obviously, tracks them. Well today I found out something new.

    I have a site, http://www.example.com. When I load it into market samurai as http://example.com, WITHOUT the WWW, it shows up in the ranktracker as not indexed. When I load it in WITH the WWW, it shows up and shows my ranking.

    So researching this I discovered that there are actually two different sites, www.example.com and example.com and one usually redirects to the other.
    Is this correct?

    And if so, then this is my second question.

    Say I am doing a round of bookmarking, pinging, etc etc. Say I use the www.example.com in all of that but the site is REALLY hosted on example.com and the www.example.com is only a REDIRECT. Does that mean I am wasting my time pumping up a redirect?

    Or if I am not paying attention, and on half I use the WWW and half I do not, am I actually splitting the work between TWO domains and only getting half the juice to each?

    Thanks guys. This one seems so simple that I can't believe this is the first time I'm hearing about it.

    Oh well, live and learn.

  2. Crixus

    Crixus Regular Member

    Jul 10, 2010
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    Jack of all trades, master of a couple.
    the ludus
    www. is a subdomain, just like any other subdomain. It is no different, except that it is often set up automatically with hosting. Sometimes the content will be mirrored, sometimes redirected.

    If it redirects, it will pass the same link juice as the type of redirect it is using normally would. (301 vs 302 etc.)

    It is better to not link to the redirect, but the actual domain. When you build a site and backlinks, pick one (www or not) and stick with it throughout. If you forget on a few, it's no biggie.
  3. rocket

    rocket Regular Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Web developer and marketer
    In my competitor's mind
    they are almost like two different sites in a way. you need to do a 301 redirect to one or the other so all of your seo juice goes to one version and is not split up.
    In .htaccess, use this and all is good:

    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^your-site\.com [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.your-site.com/$1 [R=301,L]
    Now it won't matter what you bookmark, the www or non-www version because it all goes to the same version.

    You can flip flop depending on which version you want to use.