Canonical URLs: The WWW Quandary

To help improve your organic search placement it is important to let Google and other search engines know how you want your links returned and how they should index your website. Should it be linked and named as or Specifically I mean in the example is there a www or no www in the URL. Deciding which way you want your links to show and be indexed is just another aspect you should address when you get serious about organic search placement. This issue is called canonical URLs.

I personally like URLs with the www. In all my content, all my links, all my code, I am consistent. I always use a www. You may prefer no www, and that is fine, just make sure that everything you do reflects this decision. The key is to be consistent everywhere. In the Google Webmaster Control Panel, you can tell Google how you want them to link and index your website URLs. This is key to making sure that the do not index both version of your website.

Additionally if you are on a UNIX server I install in the .htaccess file a script to rewrite URLs to my preference. Here is the script to add using my domain name as the example. Make sure to change to your own domain when you do the installation.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^
RewriteRule (.*)$1 [R=301,L]

I have found a great article that very clearly explains this topic on and recommend it to you for further reading. This is an important issue for search engine placement and so really deserves your further consideration and action.