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    [SEO]Google Webmaster Tools Preferred Domain Setting

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    Usually any site which is not using redirection from www to non www or vice-versa is creating a duplicate cope of his own site. Google offers various ways by which you can tell Google to tell which site to index. Usually webmasters set 301 redirection or use canonicalization to set their preferred domain. Couple of days back Google introduced a new feature in Webmaster tool call preferred domain settings.

    If you not sure you are making same mistake by offering two different links for the same content, try to open your site with and without www. If both of them redirects to one URL, you need not need to worry about, else you quickly need to work on setting your preferred domain URL.

    What is Preferred domain setting?

    As name suggests, you can tell Google which URL ( www or Non www) you would like Google to index.

    You can treat your domain like http://shoutmeloud.com or http://www.shoutmeloud.com. ┬áIf you don’t set your preferred domain style, chances of getting penalize for duplication of content by Google is very high.

    This is what Google talk about preferred domain :

    The preferred domain is the one that you would like used to index your site’s pages. If you specify your preferred domain as http://www.example.com and we find a link to your site that is formatted as http://example.com , we’ll treat that link as if it was http://www.example.com . In addition, we’ll take your preference into account when displaying URLs in our search results. It may take some time for changes to be reflected in our index.

    You can read more about preferred domain here on Google official page.

    How you can set up your preferred domain using Google webmaster tool?

    Login to Google webmaster tool.

    prepered domain google webmaster thumb [SEO]Google Webmaster Tools Preferred Domain Setting

    Under settings > use Preferred domain to set your preferences. And click save.

    Though if you have set proper 301 redirection, which usually any WordPress blog does by default, you can skip this step. Though, once you are configuring Webmaster tool for your blog, you might like to set it too.

    Do let us know which domain URL do you prefer, www or non www? And which method do you prefer to set you preferred domain URL ?

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    { 14 comments… read them below or add one }

    Nimit kashyap

    wordpress already has this option enabled,anyways nice article for those who aren’t working on wordpress platform :)


    Harsh Agrawal

    There are some great features in your webmaster tool. Like image search permission and robots.txt.
    try to use them to make the most out of it.



    Harsh I tried it. But after setting preferred domain it asks me to verify domain. How to do that? Try to reply ASAP


    Harsh Agrawal

    Puneet that’s the first thing you have done after putting your domain into Google webmaster tool…
    There are two ways to verify Google webmaster tool..
    1. meta tag
    2. Upload a HTML file
    You can use any of these method..



    I have already added meta tag. So now the only thing I am required to do is choose the preferred domain. Or do I need to do anything else


    Harsh Agrawal

    Instead you can use enforce www wordpress plugin. That will also help.


    I figured it out, its because you need to add http://yoursite.com as a new site.


    Harsh Agrawal

    That’s great Pete that you figured out yourself. Feel free to ask anything, will try to answer .. This will also help me to do my research :)


    vasvi gupt

    hie friends,

    My website is verified in google webmaster tool but I am unable set preffered domain with www . it shows error “Part of the process of setting a preferred domain is to verify that you own http://example.com/. Please verify http://example.com/.” but My website is verified with www
    How can I do this??



    I am getting this verify issue as well.
    The first thing I did, was I verified my site by uploading the file.
    Google then verified.
    When I try to change my preferred domain, it will not allow me.

    I don’t see how/why I need to add the site, when its already added..

    P.S. I did add the site again anyway, and it didn’t work =(



    do i need to set 301 redirect in .htaccess before doing in webmaster tools please quick reply.


    Avneesh Sachdeva

    I have set 301 from www to naked domain. But i want google to display search results for WWW domain. Is this possible by setting domain preference as WWW in webmaster tools?
    Also do I need to add and verify both domains (www and naked) in webmasters??



    Hi! Please guide me with this issue. Should I use domain with www. or without http://www.? Which one will be better seowise?


    Muhammad saleem

    Hi Harsh,
    I am getting this when preferring to my site on http://www.example.com.
    Part of the process of setting a preferred domain is to verify that you own http://example.com/. Please verify http://example.com/.


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