The Cloud One Blog

Posted by admin on Monday, June 20, 2011

www or non-www, that's a web address question

Trying to improve the SEO for Cloud One I came across to this point, whether to choose the www or the non-www version of this site.

If you are familiar with SEO, you must be aware of url canonicalization, which means to consistently use one and only one way to refer each web page, to avoid share SERP and PR among multiples urls pointing to the same resource.

Ok, but then the one million question: which one to use, www.mywebsite.com or mywebsite.com? Google that and you willfind 50% tell you to use www and other 50% tell you to use the non-www version, and then I found an article from Harvey Kane that helped me make my mind. I decided to use www.cloudonedesign.com (the www version).

3 reasons to use www version:

  1. Convenient. When you send an e-mail with your website address using the www version, the message received is likely to automatically include a link to it. Use the non-www version and your clients and friends will need to copy and paste the url in the browser every time.

  2. Avoid confusion. After more than 20 years of the world wide web as we know it, now the “www" is a symbol of “website". When you get a business card and see the www printed there, you know is a website address, but read a non-www version, and you will think twice: is it an e-mail? Is it a twitter account?…

  3. People type it anyway. People has got used to the www to be part of a website address, specially the old generation (like my dad!), if you give them a non-www version, they will think something is wrong, and inevitable they will end typing http://www..., yeah, the http part included.

So, at least personally, I decided to use the www version and write 301 redirects to redirect from non-www to www urls.

There are many ways to setup 301 urls, depending on what web programming language you use, but this is a very useful resource if you don't have access to the web server settings:

http://www.seo-consultant-services.co.uk/301-redirects-www-non-www-canonical-problems.html

And this what Google says about this (that both are ok, is really up to you):

http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=44231