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WWW vs non-WWW – Which is Better for SEO?

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In this article, i will help you in understanding the difference between www vs non-www. What are their advantages and disadvantages on various technical, UX grounds and what is best for you.

One of the most prominent question that is asked when a you start a website, is whether to use www vs non-www in the website URL. And which is better for SEO. This query intensifies when you are asked to choose one in the Google Search Console. Though you can add both of the type but your results are going to be shown bearing the one you finally choose.

For just clearing out any term doubts, non-www URLs are sometimes referred as naked domains.

There is not much difference between www and non-www. This what most people will say, but there are some differences.

As being a hot question, google has already provided an answer to the question . According to google, their is absolutely no-difference between www vs non-www when it comes to any SEO advantages. Many websites on the same question, provide the same answer. According to them, it is just a personal preference. Though there are some technical advantage of using one over the other which we will discuss.

Technical Difference: www vs non-www

There are two advantages of having www over non-www.

  1. When you add www in front of the website URL, it provides flexibility to the hosting service and you. It can help in redirecting traffic when you server fails, with the help of flexible DNS. Also, many hosts like Heroku or Akamai sometimes needs to update your DNS for the same cause.  This is done by using DNS CNAME records, and naked or non-www domains do not have CNAME. But, it is only when you have high traffic and need large server requirement. But, as everybody wants their website to become bigger, having a domain with www in this case will eventually help you.
  2. Another reason is the use of cookies. It is one of the best performance optimization practice to serve content from cookie-less domain like . If you are using www, then you are actually using www as a subdomain and thus your site’s cookies are not sent to the static domain. And, if you are using non-www domain, then your site’s cookies are sent across all subdomains. This can slow down your website as static content serving will be slow.

For Every 100 Websites’s tested for performance, we found  (The Estimate is Approx)
WWW vs non-WWW - Which is Better for SEO?WWW vs non-WWW - Which is Better for SEO?

User and Branding Difference : www vs non-www

When you see a www, any one will know that it is URL of website. For many, having a www seems more legit then not having one. Many people add www when entering a URL in address bar, but it is not an issue, it can be redirected to your canonical URL.

I found that for every 100 brand websites, (approx)

WWW vs non-WWW - Which is Better for SEO?

Does www vs non-www effect SEO in any way?

The thing is that, many people tend to add www or non-www backlinks. Many websites’ having www can have links pointed to their non-www domain and vice-versa. If you have taken good measures like 301 redirection and setting preference, then this wont be an issue.

But, the good thing is that google considers links to any one even if you have set the preference to other. Like if you have added preference to use www one, and someone pointed to non-www, then google will consider the link pointed to non-www, as link pointed to www. Thus, you do not have to worry much.

So, should you change?  And if yes, then how

If you are starting a website, then there is not much to loose, and you can change. But if you are in middle and have spent quite time in link building and Outreaching, then even though, there is no SEO issue, still you should not convert to www (It’s upon you). Now, if your website has started to gain lot’s of traffic and server load keeps increasing, then it is time to move and use www.

At last, it is more about personal preference. On this site , i do not use www, as their is not that much server load.

So, now if you want to use www. The best way is to just use these 2 steps:

  1. Add this code in your .htaccess file. This will 301 redirect your website to new, and will also do the same for your backlinks, that is pass all the authority to your new URL.
  2. RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example\.com$ [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]
  3. Next, is to set preference in the Google Search Console. This is what we have been talking time to time.

WWW vs non-WWW

WWW vs non-WWW - Which is Better for SEO?

Conclusion

  1. There is no SEO advantages as google consider links to both the same.
  2. There is a technical advantage of using www over non-www domain.
  3. There is a branding advantage of using www over non-www domian.

I hope that this has cleared all your doubts, but still if you have any, let me know in the comments. I will surely respond.

1 Comment
  1. do hyphens affect seo says

    Nice article. Its realy nice. Many info help me. dont stop the super work!

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