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    Bad Timing & Luck - WWW Canonical Issue


    I must have incredibly bad timing and bad luck this last night...

    I recently redesigned my website and converted over to a WordPress system, I 302 redirected all my new internal URLs and my old index.html, without a problem...

    Then last night I realized I had a canonization problem between all my old backlinks using www.i24designs.com and my new backlinks using i24designs.com.

    NO problem I thought, I will just go to webmaster tools and change my preferred url to i24designs.com, and create a 301 redirect for yahoo, using my "redirection" wordpress plugin for the www.i24designs.com to now go to i24designs.com.

    I was tired, so I went to bed and and found out this morning that I had a redirect error (apparently the plug-in does not work for the www canonical issue)... and my site was down last night, while Google did PR BAR updates....

    My site is less that a year old with a PR BAR of 2, which I expected to jump to 4 during the next PR BAR update.... but now I have a 0PR instead...

    Anyway, my SERP results have drop some for my keywords, and the PR0 might effect some peoples first impression of my site, but what really has me concerned is whether or not the problem is fully corrected.

    The site is working again, and even though I got rid of the 301 redirection in the "redirection plug-in" http://www.i24designs.com/ still seems to be redirecting to http://i24designs.com/.

    The other thing that concern me is that since I changed my preferred url in Google webmaster tools, at the top of each page in webmaster tools I new have this message:

    "You have specified i24designs.com as the preferred domain for this site. The information for this domain may not be complete. Please add the site i24designs.com for more complete information."

    It also appears that both Google and Yahoo are still counting the backlinks to both pages separately...

    Any insights would be greatly appreciated...

    Thanks,
    Charles
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    First good news for you is..the redirection is working properly with a 301 permanent redirection HTTP status.

    Secondly, I would have rather set my domain as www.domain.com instead of domain.com just for a simple reason that people while linking [generally] adds the "WWW" in front of the domain name. So I wouldn't necessarily put my website through a 301 redirect to reach domain.com

    Regarding the website being down, Googlebot got a HTTP status code of 503 [Network Unavailable] which implies that the issue is temporary and hence the Googlebot is supposed to revisit your page after sometime...and when it hits back..most likely you will have a PR update on your website.

    As for the GWT console - you are getting the message because you have added your website as www.domain.com in the dashboard. You need to re-add it without the WWW - i.e - domain.com

    Hope this helps!

    Comments on this post

    • tlavelle1183 agrees : Comprehensive, Authoritative, Excellent Advice
    • i24designs agrees : Thanks for the advice!
    Last edited by pro_seo; May 28th, 2009 at 01:10 PM.

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    PageRank doesn't pay the rent. The only thing that matters is traffic that converts.
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    Originally Posted by MarketingIQ
    PageRank doesn't pay the rent. The only thing that matters is traffic that converts.

    ...hmmm true but it does pay the rent if you are into the business of selling links and charge your customers based on the PR of the page their links are on..right?
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    Originally Posted by MarketingIQ
    PageRank doesn't pay the rent. The only thing that matters is traffic that converts.
    While I agree in the abstract, I think we can all agree that getting that traffic is important and SEO is a valid way to drive qualified traffic.

    Great answers by the way.
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    Originally Posted by pro_seo
    First good new for you is..the redirection is working properly with a 301 permanent redirection HTTP status.

    Secondly, I would have rather set my domain as www.domain.com instead of domain.com just for a simple reason that people while linking [generally] adds the "WWW" in front of the domain name. So I wouldn't necessarily put my website through a 301 redirect to reach domain.com

    Regarding the website being down, Googlebot got a HTTP status code of 503 [Network Unavailable] which implies that the issue is temporary and hence the Googlebot is supposed to revisit your page after sometime...and when it hits back..most likely you will have a PR update on your website.

    As for the GWT console - you are getting the message because you have added your website as www.domain.com in the dashboard. You need to re-add it without the WWW - i.e - domain.com

    Hope this helps!
    Thank you...

    I redirected to the domain.com, because by default all my new wordpress urls are using this format (i.e. no www) by default, so I think a would need to do 301 redirects for my homepage and all internal urls, if I were to use the "www"??

    In the GWT console, do they mean go to the dashboard and "add a site", because I did that and I end up with 2 sites (i24designs.com & www.i24designs), with different info, backlinks, stats, etc.... ??

    -Charles
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    Charles - you need to decide the canonical URL based on the profile of your backlinks.

    If most of your backlinks point to www.domain.com placing a redirect to domain.com will lead to a temporary loss of ranks, traffic and sales [since all the links will have to be recredited to the domain.com URL]

    As for the default wordpress URL of domain.com - you can easily switch to www.domain.com from wordpress dashboard >> General Settings [the last option in the left bar]

    However, WP uses a 302 redirect to redirect domain.com to www.domain.com

    To beat that - use the following code in your HTACCESS file

    rewritecond %{http_host} ^domain.com [nc]
    rewriterule ^(.*)$ http://www.domain.com/$1 [r=301,L]
    ...and all your domain.com to www.domain.com redirects become 301 permanent ones.

    Try it...it works!

    EDIT -
    Originally Posted by i24designs
    In the GWT console, do they mean go to the dashboard and "add a site", because I did that and I end up with 2 sites (i24designs.com & www.i24designs), with different info, backlinks, stats, etc.... ??
    Yes, that's the reason they are prompting to add the non-WWW version so that you can get dedicated stats related to it [crawl errors, diagnostics, backlink information etc]
    Last edited by pro_seo; May 28th, 2009 at 01:21 PM.
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    Yeah, listen to pro he knows what he's talking about. Oh and nice site by the way, I really like the design.

    Why did you do the 302 redirects, for temporary?
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    Originally Posted by seogoat
    Yeah, listen to pro he knows what he's talking about. Oh and nice site by the way, I really like the design.

    Why did you do the 302 redirects, for temporary?
    Thanks goat... I/m glad you like the site.... the 302 redirect was automatically generated by WordPress, by default.

    The new site has been up for about 2 couple of weeks, I wish I would have noticed the canonical issue earlier, but I have been so busy working on other projects, that my site got a little neglected.

    -Charles
    Last edited by i24designs; May 29th, 2009 at 12:16 PM.
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    Originally Posted by MarketingIQ
    PageRank doesn't pay the rent. The only thing that matters is traffic that converts.
    As clearly stated by Google in their Corporate Information Technical Overview... PageRank is considered when calculating SERPs & better SERP drive more traffic to your site.

    PageRank is also a consideration when you are in the middle of negotiating guest blogging and other link partnership agreements with a select group high quality sites.

    Both of which lead to "traffic that converts"... e.g. the little green bar does not mean anything to me, bur Google cares about your "real" PR and many users and site owners consider visible PR when they consider working with you.
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    I won't start a seperate thread on this because this is close to homw.

    I also recetnly moved over to wordpress. I have set up 301 redirects for my old URLs as the folder structure for internal pages has changed.

    i set up a www to non-www redirect a while ago but it seems that my www url has more links to it? Is this as issue even though my www redirects to my non-www ?
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    Thanks Pro_seo...

    Yeah, I was just so busy, I did not notice WP had defaulted all my URLs to the non-www versions.... I also did not realize WordPress was automatically creating a 302 redirect.

    I am usually on top of all the details, but my 70-80 hour work weeks got the best of me this time and I dropped the ball.

    This domain is very new and although I was able to a few hundred lower quality links and get the PR up to 2 before the last update, I didn't want to aggressively work on SEO until the new site was up and running....

    Since the site launched a couple weeks ago, I have invested a lot of time and money into getting links from highly relevant sites back to my new non "www" version and to use social media, article submissions and other lower quality linking to get all the new site urls indexed fully indexed.

    Going back to the old "www" would cause a lot of problems with my recent link building efforts and linkbait projects, so unless you think I really need switch it back, I would rather deal with the short term PR loss and have the old www links 301 redirected to the non-www domain.

    If I move forward with the non-www url, will yahoo eventually start showing all my links to both www and non-ww when I do a search like:


    link:http://i24designs.com/ -site:i24designs.com

    or will I always have to do both to see my backlinks

    link:http://i24designs.com/ -site:i24designs.com
    link:http://www.i24designs.com/ -site:www.i24designs.com

    also....
    If I add a the i24designs.com site to Google Webmaster Tools, will the new domain eventually start showing all the data from the www.i24designs.com and i24designs.com, or will I always have to keep checking 2 accounts to see all my data?

    Thanks for all your advise...
    Charles
    Last edited by i24designs; May 29th, 2009 at 12:17 PM.

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