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Diary of a Maui Web Designer

SEO: WWW or No WWW? Which is better?

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A question that comes up often from clients is, “Which is better for SEO, using www in my web address or not?”  It’s a great question, and here are my thoughts.
I think more and more, people are opting for a cleaner and shorter domain address by going with the non-www address.  You’ll notice our website doesn’t use the www.  It’s just http://dzinepod.com.  We chose this way for DzinePOD because we like short and concise, but I have to admit that using www is probably a better idea, especially if your website uses eCommerce or any other fanciness.

Search engines don’t really care either way, and choosing one over the other won’t effect your rankings.  The important thing to know is that you have to choose one or the other.  When it comes to SEO (search engine optimization), the search engines see non-www and www pages as two separate pages instead of one.  So, you must tell the search engines to ignore the one and choose the other.  To do this, simply edit your .htaccess folder on your server.

To have people get redirected to your www site, type in this into the .htaccess folder. Be sure to replace “yourdomain” with your actual domain name:

RewriteEngine On
rewritecond %{http_host} ^yourdomain.com [nc]
rewriterule ^(.*)$ http://www.yourdomain.com/$1 [r=301,nc]

To have people get redirected to your non-www site, type this into the .htaccess folder:

RewriteEngine On
rewritecond %{http_host} ^www.yourdomain.com [nc]
rewriterule ^(.*)$ http://yourdomain.com/$1 [r=301,nc]

Then, go to your browser and type in your web address with the www and then without the www and you should see that it redirects to the preferred address.  Now you will have better SEO, since now there is just one doorway where all of your traffic must pass through, instead of two.  For good SEO, you want only one doorway.  Search engines count how many people come through that door, and so if you have two doors to come through, your traffic isn’t counted as high as it should be.

So, pick which way you’d like to go with using www or non-www and then be sure to set up the redirect.  Then you’ll be good to go!

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