You may not know this: SEO helps your website visibility – but your domain settings are probably damaging all the good work you’ve done so far. There is a simple domain issue that is, basically, reducing your website visibility by 50%. Or even more, if you have multiple domain names.
Find out if your domain is ruining your ranking
Follow these instructions and find that out right now:
1) In your browser address bar, digit “http://www.example.com” where example.com is your domain name.
2) When your website is loaded, take note of the full address in the address bar.
3) Now digit “http://example.com” in your address bar (your domain name, without the www).
4) When your website is loaded, take note of the full address in the address bar.
Have you got duplicate content?
If the website addresses you took note of at 2) and 4) are not exactly the same, you’ve got “duplicate content”. To be more clear: instead of 1 website, you actually have 2 distinct websites, with two different addresses!
Google indexes webpages with distinct information. So, if your site has a “www” and “non-www” version of each page, Google will choose one of them to rank, randomly.
So, if you’ve been working on your website SEO by boosting your domain visibility, it was all a waste of time. Practically, you may have “pushed” the wrong domain – the one that Google decided not to index.
Fix it by setting a preferred domain
The “preferred domain” (or “canonical domain”) is the one that you want Google to index in the search results. By specifying a preferred domain, Google will treat the “www” and “non-www” versions as the same content.
All you need is a “naked domain redirection” (where “naked” stands for the non-www domain name). You can achieve this by contacting your hosting/domain provider: if your hosting control panel allows this kind of redirection, they’ll set it up for you in minutes.
Otherwise, you can do it yourself: sign up with Google Webmaster Tools and register your domain. Then, from the Webmaster Tools Home page, click on Site configuration > Settings > Preferred domain and select the configuration you prefer.