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Inside Google Sitemaps: www vs non-www versions of a site

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www vs non-www versions of a site

Two URLs to a site -- one that is prefaced with www and one that is not (for instance, http://www.example.com/ and http://example.com/) -- often point to the same location on a server. But depending on the server configuration, they may point to different locations, so search engines can't assume they are the same.

This post provides tips for viewing stats if the www and non-www version of your site point to the same location.

If you have added your site without prefacing the domain with www (for instance, http://example.com/), and the www version of this domain points to the same location, try adding the www version of the domain (for instance, http://www.example.com/) to your account. You may see a wider variety of stats for the www version of the domain.

You can add a site by:
  1. Clicking the Add tab.
  2. Scrolling to the "If you don't have a Sitemap" area and entering the site URL.
  3. Clicking Add Site.
Similarly, if you have added the www version of the domain and the non-www version points to the same location, you can add the non- www version to see stats for that version.

If the verification file still exists in the root of your site and both versions of the domain point to the same location, you can verify the second version simply by accessing the Verify tab and clicking the Verify button.

Note that having both versions of the site's URL listed in your account won't affect the indexing of your site as long as you have submitted a Sitemap for only one version - the version you want to be indexed. Don't submit a Sitemap for both versions if the location and content are the same.

If both domains point to the same location and you have pages indexed under both versions, see our Google Help Center for more information on consolidating the listings under one domain.

We hear requests for help with this often, so we'll be looking at ways to improve this issue in the coming months.

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