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Why does the www of a domain name affect its ranking?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by mooseboy, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. mooseboy

    mooseboy Newbie

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    I've noticed on Serpbook that my rankings vary based on whether the domain is preceded by a www or not. Why is this, and is there a way to unify it so it's consistent? I'm not even sure how one could have a different ranking since they are both the same site.

    I do have an .htaccess file on the site that I thought was supposed to handle this, but apparently its not doing anything.
     
  2. Casey101

    Casey101 Junior Member Premium Member

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    You can set which one you prefer in Google Webmaster Tools. If this is a WordPress site, there is a setting in the control panel for this (under general settings). If you need more help, feel free to PM me.
     
  3. Conor

    Conor Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  4. jascoken

    jascoken Senior Member

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    This is what is known as canonicalisation, and it's been fun and games for search engines for many years...

    Google 'canonicalisation' of URL's and you'll read lots about it. But essentially, www.xxx.com is a different location to xxx.com (and so is your home-page as xxx.com or xxx.com/index.php or whatever). You need to try and use the same standards for all your SEO as a general rule.
     
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  5. jayrat14

    jayrat14 Senior Member

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    Correct info there.. Thanks
     
  6. Zapdos

    Zapdos Power Member

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    If you have www.example.com then:
    www is technically a subdomain of example.com . But they display the same content. So it would essentially be similar to having books.com and comics.com that inter-link to eachother all over. Neither will win.

    To fix it, you can set the preferred domain (for google) using their web master tools. You can also use an htaccess directive such as this one:
    Code:
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^YOURSITE\.com
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.YOURSITE.com/$1 [R=permanent,L]
    
     
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  7. mooseboy

    mooseboy Newbie

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    For the .htaccess file, I'm using something similar to what you have shown, but it is a touch different. I can't paste it here because I haven't been a member long enough, but instead of [R=permanent,L] it has [R=301,L]

    There are also a couple other minor differences such as yours is written as: RewriteRule ^(.*)
    The one I have is written as: RewriteRule (.*)

    Should I just switch to your format or will the one I already have be sufficient?
     
  8. ivanpenev

    ivanpenev Regular Member

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    It sounds to me like Serpbook's fault, there must be no difference. Pm lanbo.
     
  9. mooseboy

    mooseboy Newbie

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    lanbo?
     
  10. ivanpenev

    ivanpenev Regular Member

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  11. mooseboy

    mooseboy Newbie

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    Oh thanks. I didn't know Serpbook had a member here.