Support » Everything else WordPress » SEO between www and non-www

  • I wanted to point this out for any SEO’s that are concerned between an individual WordPress with www and a WordPress Multi-site non-www url. In the past, my company has optimized top ranking sites on static html sites and WordPress sites. The biggest horrific derailing of search engine positioning we’ve noticed is WordPress’ non-www url on multi-sites. If we have inbound links that have point to www. and change/accidentally switch it to non-www the site will bounce around the SERPS. We initially noticed this last year (2009) when one of our sites dropped off the front page off Google search results. Switching it back to www. brought it back within a couple weeks.

    Today we discovered another site bouncing around the SERPS the past couple of weeks. The culprit: non-www URL – somehow during the transition from 2.7 to 3.0.1 the www. in the site URL was removed. This is a individual wp install.

    It’s unfortunate we can’t use Multi Site Domains for these already well-established ranking websites. I don’t understand why Google would treat www. and non-www sites differently. I really wish www. and non-www was an option for Mu installs. 🙁

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  • Andrea Rennick


    Customer Care at Copyblogger Media and Studiopress

    I really wish www. and non-www was an option for Mu installs. 🙁

    It *is*. Pick one and redirect appropriately.

    Also, you need to set up your server properly.

    Settings -> General on an individual install there’s the option of changing WordPress address (URL) and Site address (URL) were’s on a Multi-Site / Multi Domain – General is missing these options. Creating a Multi-Domain with www. in the URL creates a redirect loop which results in explosions.

    Now redirecting www. to non-www with DNS is fine, but the primary concern is the fact that the domain drops from front page rankings. I’ve noticed that Google will keep the cached as that, in rare occasions it will recognize the redirect and cache non-www but the domain never bounces back to it’s position on the front page.

    In the past I’ve gone as far as editing the wpmu-settings.php

    if( substr( $domain, 0, 4 ) == 'www.' )

    Changing this line prevented the redirect as an experiment but wasn’t adapted for obvious reasons. In 3.0.1 it’s ms-blogs.php ms-load.php ms-settings.php pluggable.php that contain substr()

    Well, I wouldn’t point and scream at WP. It’s just unfortunate in my situation that Google treats www.’s differently. You’d think the algo would assume www. and are the same.



    Forum Janitor

    You’d think the algo would assume www. and are the same

    There’s no real reasoning behind that assumption. www is just a host name like any other, albeit with more convention behind it.

    If it bothers you, use google webmaster tools to set a preferred domain – see

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
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