Friday, 17 February 2017

Master Guide: How To Verify And Set Your Preferred Domain On Google Search Console

 

As a blogger, it is very important or let me say “must” to set your preferred domain in google search console (formerly known as google webmaster) either by choosing (www) version of your website such as www.bloggerwallet.com or (non-www) version of your website such as bloggerwallet.com.

P.S: I want to assure you that, this post is going to cover all topic related to verifying and setting your preferred domain in search console comprehensibly. You need no stress, just read this post and play according to the instructions inside.

Preferred domain in other word can also be called canonical domain, whenever you come across either of the two, you shouldn’t get confused as the both terms are the same.

How Not Setting Preferred Domain In Search Console Affect My Blog Seo.

When I launched this blog some months ago from now, I tried my best to apply every necessary SEO steps to rank my blog in search engines, and the truth is everything works the way I want it. And I’m so glad to get the SEO task done.

It takes some weeks, may be two weeks or more if I can remember, when I got a message from one of a good friend of mine, calling my attention to an error occurring to my blog.

This is what he said: I try and search for your blog on yahoo and yandex, but I see nothing that looks like you.

I was shocked and instantly felt perplexed. Then I asked if he has search for it also on google and bing, because I knew he voted much more for yahoo and yandex rather than google and other search engines when it comes to search engine preference. Though I don’t really know why he preferred those search houses to google, but anyway, you know there are different men with different choices

I don’t even wait for him to do that for me, I quickly grab my computer and start a searching test on search engines, I started by using google as we all know google always takes the lead when it comes to search engine.

And believe me, I really and truly couldn’t find my blog. I found my blog only and until I add dot com (.com) to the name, like this bloggerwallet.com. Initially I taught I can wave and ignore it so far all my posts have been indexed and healthily shown on the search result page.

but I later realized that all big and professional blogs can always be accessed by typing only the blog name on the search engine, I even know it in myself that it increases user conveniences of blog.

 That is when I discovered something is wrong and I definitely need to fix it as quick as possible.

I felt so heartbreaking, but not so sad, because I believed I can solve this by typing the question to google and definitely get effective and actual informative response to solve it.

But at this time, the case isn’t like that, I search how to solve this kind of problem in every search engine I know of, including google but not limited to google webmaster forum, but it was so unfortunate, I didn’t even find a single topic related to this issue.

That is when I totally lost interest in myself being a blogger, I found blogging challenges too unbearable for my type, or why in the world this could be happening to only me! and believe me I quit blogging things for almost 2 months with the hope of not coming back to it.

In a nutshell, after 2 months, I considered those undeniable taught disturbing my heart saying “quitters never win and winners never quit”

I came back online with the hope of sooner or later I will surely get it done. And fortunately after 4 days I have back online, I was double-checking all my settings in google search console and I noticed there is one setup left which I have never done, it is the selection of preferred domain and that is when I started running a research about what does it mean to choose preferred domain in google search console? And through that thread I find a thread talking slightly related to the issue of unable to see my blog in search engines.

As I found that topic, I have no doubt in my mind that this must be the particular difficulties I’m facing. And providentially, after a deep research I got the preferred domain set and after 48 hours my blog started showing in search result when I type only the blog name.

That is the story of how not setting preferred domain affects my blog seo. I narrated that short story, just to give you more reason why setting your preferred domain is very important.

Now let’s get to the main topic, in this post I will be seeing you through below listed topics:

#1. How not specifying your preferred domain can seriously affect your blog SEO.

#2. Which one you should choose between www and non www version of your website.

#3. How to verify both www and non www of your website in google search console.

#4. How to set preferred domain in google search console.

I hope we are good to dive in!

What is preferred domain in google search console?

Preferred domain in google search console is your choice between www and non www version of your website in which you will want search engines, visitors or traffics to redirect to when trying to reach your website.

For example: in here at bloggerwallet we set our preferred domain to www version in which it doesn’t matter which version you type in the address bar to reach us, either you type www.bloggerwallet.com or you type bloggerwallet.com, you are going to be redirected to www.bloggerwallet.com. That is to say, www is our preferred domain in here at bloggerwallet. Preferred domain is also the version you want to use for your blog in the search results.

How Unspecified Preferred Domain Can Deflate Your Blog SEO

As bloggers concern, SEO is the life of every blogs and web pages or what is the point when people can’t find you and your posts in search engines? It’s of no use. People can’t benefit from what you wrote neither can’t you also make enough income from your hard efforts.

So far we have known that SEO is the life of a blog, and then we must do every possible thing to secure our blog SEO. while Setting preferred domain in google search console is one of the most lucrative and brilliant method of ranking your blog and its contents in search engines.

Unspecified Preferred Domain Ruins Blog SEO

To us, as  webmaster, we believe that both versions are the same and we all believed regardless of which one you use, either you type domain.com or you type www.domain.com in the address bar, we will surely land on the same website. Normal! Isn’t it? But google doesn’t really work like that.

According to google, if you didn’t choose any of www or non www version of your website, it means you are running a two different websites, as google will classify yourdomain.com as one different website and www.yourdomain.com as another different website entirely.

So, if your preferred domain is not set and google sees your website as two different websites, then your site might be logically classify as spam site that produces duplicate contents and if that is the case you might be penalized by SERP(search engine result page) which might leads to completely removal of your blog from search engines. I think this is enough more than reasons.

Which One Is Better? WWW or NON WWW Version.

The truth is there is no difference in choosing www or non www version for your preferred domain, I had to say it is more of choice, but it's just that one has technical and literal advantages more than other.

But believe me, either you use www or non www, it has nothing to do with your SEO but only if you didn’t choose any out of the two can hurt your SEO badly as we have discussed above.

For example, at bloggerwallet here, I chose www version just because of some logical reasons, when I read it myself on google and also did a lot research on choosing preferred domain in many big SEO website, and I confirmed that none of the two has extra advantages more than other, then I looked at it from the angle of which one is the most used out of the two, because I believed people will always stick with better one.

And I finally decided to choose www over non www, moreover, I realized that people easily recognize a webpage written in www more than non www even if that person has a very low internet experience.

In a nutshell, it doesn’t matter which one you choose just make sure you stick with the one you chose. Here are the lists of famous website that uses different versions.

WWW Version: Facebook.com, quicksprout.com, shoutmeloud.com and even google.com uses WWW version.

NON WWW: twitter.com, neilpatel.com and many others uses NON WW version

How To Verify Both WWW and NON WWW OF Your Website.

Now, you’ve fully understand importance of setting preferred domain of your blog may be through the article in this post or you’ve read it somewhere else. But the problem is, whenever you want to tick either www or non www version, it doesn’t work, you always see something like this.


Don’t worry, I have face the same problem in the past, and am writing this post to help you solve it too. Just follow below steps, and you will fix that problem in a mean time.

Note: if you have already add and verify one part of the version such as maybe when you first registered in search console, you use www or non www version, either of the two, because I knew as a beginner we always verified one of the two. If you want to know which one have been verified, then go to your dashboard on google search console and you are going to see displayed picture of your blog with the version of which you have verified. See screenshot below. you can see i have verified both version of the website, the one at the top is NON WWW, while the second one is WWW version.

If that is case, all you need to do is just to verify the second version which is www or non www, below steps will guide you on how to verify the second version of your domain.

But if you are new to search console, there are undoubted chances that you might not have verified any of the www or non www version. Well, you also need to follow below steps, you just only need to repeat the steps twice for each version.

Step By Step On How To Verify Both WWW And NON WWW Or Either Of the Two In Google Search Console

Step 1: Go to your search console dashboard and click add property at the top right corner of the screen, type your blog address with www or non www. Whichever you want to verify or any one you want to verify first. Then hit add button.

 Step 2: you will be asked to verify any of the version you chose. Note, you should know that if you have already verify one of the version, google has said to automatically verify the second version for you once you add it to the property.

And once you do that, it means you’ve successfully verified the both version of your website, only one thing left for you to do is to set which one you preferred for search engine to crawl and for your user to use. And this is what we have been talking about, earlier in this post. which I’m going to show you how to do, later in this post.

But if you haven’t verified any of the versions at all, you are going to repeat the above steps twice for each version. Let me explain again the steps for better understanding.

Go to your google search console dashboard and navigate add property at the top right corner of the screen, then start by entering which one you want to verify first, either www or non www, you are going to write it like this: www.yourdomain.com or yourdomain.com.

After you’ve done that, you will be provided different methods to verify your preference, in which you are going to use any one out of the available verification optionsto verify your preference, it is not that hard,  they are going to guide you at that point, just make sure you follow the instruction appropriately.

Then after that, apply the same method with the second version, and when you are doing the second version, there is no need of verifying it as I have stated above that google said, they will automatically use the initial method to verify the second version.

Finally, let’s talk about how to set preferred domain in search console.

How To Set Preferred Domain In Google Search Console.

This is the last topic on our list in this post, and believe me it is as simple as ABC once you’ve done the above steps.

All you need to do in setting preferred domain in search console is to login to your dashboard on google search console, and tick any of the version as your preferred domain, and this time, you must not receive any error message. And you are done.

So thank you for reading this tutorial, I hope this tutorial can help you solve that problem, and if you didn’t get anything along the line, do not hesitate to let me know in the comment below, as I always like to help.

And, if you find this post useful, do leave a comment below, as all I like is seeing people like you passing by.

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Authored by:

Hey! I'm Abdulrazaq Olatunji, CEO and content editor at this blog, I always derived much pleasure in paving beginner's way. I writes based on topics related to SEO, tutorial for both wordpress and blogspot, blogging motivational articles and all other blogging tips and trick such as practical guides on how to make money blogging. I'd love to see you some other times.

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