__/ [ Harlan Messinger ] on Wednesday 24 May 2006 18:24 \__
> Gymdandy@xxxxxxxxx wrote:
>> I see people talk about the difference between the two.
>> What is the difference pertaining to search engines.
>> I know that if I type it in a browser's url with or without the www it
>> still goes to the same site
> Not necessarily and not automatically. The two forms aren't synonymous.
> They have to be configured that way in both DNS and the web server.
>> So why is it different when it comes to search engines?
> There isn't any difference *between* them. The issue is what happens
> when your site is accessible *both* ways, and your server accepts
> requests under both host names directly rather than redirecting one to
> the other. If half the links to your home page have the "www" and the
> other half don't, then Google thinks it's two different pages, each with
> half the popularity that the page actually has. This dilutes your page
Interestingly, Alexa merge the two while Netscraft insist that the two
possibilities (URL's) are completely separate. I suppose that the best
practice is to always link consistently or use the CMS (or a script) to
redirect from one to the other (this protects you in case other people
link to your page or enter it by direct request, e.g. address bar).
Merging the two can be a miserable and frustrating experience if your site
is highly fragmented. That's why I never bother with it, personally...
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