To begin, I love your website. Very informative. On to my question. I am creating a site map for my website and have run into a problem.
For purposes of discussion, let's say my main URL is www.example.com. I have a plethora of links in my site for indexing purposes between pages. The page links all go to their respective pages properly, but are linked to example.com (without the www part).
So, long story short, a person can follow these links without a problem and get to the page they clicked on, but can Google follow these links?
I am unsure as www.example.com and example.com might be considered different URLs.
Looking forward to your thoughts.
Google can and does follow both www links and non-www links in your website. They used to often see them as distinct URLs, and would often index both versions, which is not good.
That said, for the past 6 to 9 months or so, Google seemed to have figured out that the www version and the non-www version of URLs are the same pages on most websites.
While I haven't seen others online mention this much, I noticed this when every website I reviewed in this past year has not had a problem with Google seeing the www and the non-www as different. This is indeed a big switch from past years when it seemed to be a problem.
To be sure that Google (and the other search engines) index only one version of your URLs, you can have your server people redirect the non-www version to the www version. That's still good practice, regardless of how Google currently sees things.
I wrote about this previously here as well:
Redirecting Non-www to www Version
Hope this helps!
Jill Whalen is the CEO of High Rankings, a Boston SEO Company.
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