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Please Help me understand Redirects and duplicate domains!

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by chockomonkey, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. chockomonkey

    chockomonkey Regular Member

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    I have read plenty of information on this subject, but for some reason still can't put the pieces together, hence this thread.

    So I get that...

    http://www.mywebsite.com/
    http://www.mywebsite.com
    http://mywebsite.com
    http://mywebsite.com/

    ...those are all different and if you don't set up redirecting correctly, there are technically 4 different versions of one's website on the internet... correct?

    Using a tool i found in Google, I found that apparently my company's website is 6-fold... there aren't any re-directs anywhere, AND there's actually 2 additional duplicates!
    http://www.mywebsite.com// and
    http://mywebsite.com//

    I've read tutorials on how to change the .htaccess file in order to handle redirecting, so i think i can fix it...

    ...but how did this happen in the first place? How are there 6 different versions of my website online when i only have 1 index.html file?
     
  2. georgegaskin

    georgegaskin Registered Member

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    I don,t think it works like that. But I could be wrong.Thats basically the same site,Goggle see, it as one site.I was thinking of doing a redirect or forward on a .net and a .org.Thats different sites and then forward them to my .com.But you have to look out for duplicate content.If I am wrong straiten me out. And any .html file mite apear in google.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  3. Petrel

    Petrel Registered Member

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    One of the most well-kept secrets on the internet is that www is a subdomain. Technically, www.domain.com is the same in form as mail.domain.com.

    However, sites generally accept both forms. Search engines probably index according to which one the site prefers. I'm pretty sure that www.domain.com is the same as domain.com-- when it comes to search engines. (I have yet to see different PRs for them)
     
  4. aftershock2020

    aftershock2020 Senior Member

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    What you have is all different variations of the same domain...it is listing by different markets in the SE. The first 4 versions are the exact same site.

    The second 2 are also the same exact domain but look to have extentions , which means they are ' subdomains ' or badly routed subdirectories. Either of which are NOT needed in your case.

    You simply are seeing multiple connection links in your single site. There is nothing to change. Don't go changing anything in there if you don't understand it fully.

    My recommendation is that if you are so concerned with it, backup your primary directories using an ftp program like filezilla or the like. Then, have your hosting service reset that domain on the server. That will clear any and all path mistakes you may have in your system.

    Then, rebuild your site from your files and investigate the issue from a fresh perspective. As I see it, you don't have any issue other than some software reading duplicate links for your domain.
     
  5. jaiden

    jaiden Newbie

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    Easiest thing to do is 301 redirect your non-www site to the www version. To do so, create an .htaccess file (assuming you're using apache) and setup redirects.

    Something like:

    Code:
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteBase /
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example.com
    RewriteRule (.*) http://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]
    
    As for the second problem of slashes, you could do something like:

    Code:
    RewriteRule ^([a-zA-Z0-9]+)/$ /$1 [L]
    RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9}\ /([a-zA-Z0-9]+)
    RewriteRule ^([a-zA-Z0-9]+)$ /%1/? [R=301,L]
    
    ...which would make sure that all urls end in a slash.

    By 301 redirecting, you save your link juice. For more information on htaccess, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.htaccess
     
  6. aftershock2020

    aftershock2020 Senior Member

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    Not really the best thing to do, as it still causes an error log that the SE can and will track, which will show up to bite you in the arse in your search results for any page that it lands on from natural search that pings that error.

    Just food for thought. I wouldn't recommend going that route.
     
  7. jaiden

    jaiden Newbie

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    Not sure what you mean ? There's no error, just an object permanently moved. Fairly common practice in WH circles to reclaim link juice lost to root links and the like.
     
  8. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    I agree, when used correctly a 301 redirect will not be seen negatively by google. A properly configured redirect is helping the crawlers find your content. Not only that, it will help your visitors find the content they were looking for.

    A 301 redirect is designed to let the se know when you've renamed or moved a file. The only time google will ding you for it is when you start making irrelevant redirects. Even then the ding won't come because of the redirect itself. When the crawler makes it to the right page it expects to find relevant content, if it doesn't it will adjust it's indexing and pr accordingly.

    Anytime you redisign a site, there may be backlinks that still point to your old pages. Anyone following the old links will turn up at your site, get 301 redirected to the new location and everything is good. Visitors find the page from the outdated backlink, and the se knows you still have the related content and adjusts the indexing accordingly. Soon the newer page is what the se shows in the serps, and the outdated backlinks are still counting. If you have many backlinks, you don't want surfers or crawlers to follow them only to arrive at a 404 page.

    If you don't use a 301 redirect then every backlink pointing to an outdated link would just result in a 404 error and the se would drop the linkjuice from the backlink. A 301 lets the se know how to correct the error. Without the 301 redirect, you would have to go find every incorrect backlink and change them. That isn't really possible, which is why redirects were implemented. A redirect isn't an error, it's there to prevent an error. If you move a page and don't make a redirect then you will get the error.

    It works the same for the www or no-www problem. It's best to be diligent about always keeping your backlinks consistent, either using the www or not. But no matter how hard you try, if your site is worthwhile and gets organic backlinks (strangers linking to you on there own) then there's a possibility of getting a mix of www and no-www backlinks. Since there's a possibility that google might ding you for duplicate content based on that, it is a good idea to do a 301 redirect either to the www or no-www depending on which you decided to prefer.

    You should also let google know directly by selecting the prefered name in your webmaster tools. The only real reason for doing the 301 redircts is in case there are backlinks pointing to the wrong version of your domain name. If you set it up correctly then you shouldn't recieve any organic traffic from the se to the wrong version, and all indexing should end up for the right version. You are just using it to adjust for any incorrect backlinks, to keep the se indexing only for the single version of your domain name.
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  9. chockomonkey

    chockomonkey Regular Member

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    Thank you all for your participation in helping me connect the dots.

    Extra thanks to GreyWolf for speaking my language! You put it in a way that i finally get wtf is going on..

    Cheers to all!