Simple SEO Tips – WWW Resolve

The term ‘www resolve’ sounds technical, but it’s actually pretty simple to understand, and worth knowing about for your SEO. Essentially, a www resolve is a simple command that ensures that when you enter your web address WITH a www or WITHOUT a www – you end up at the same place.

This place can with look like this www.yourwebsite.com.au or yourwebsite.com.au – both are perfectly fine.

You'll probably be thinking “who cares? It works either way when I type it in my browser?”

Well, you’re right – but only kind of. It still works for you. But it’s not ideal for Google.

Technically whether you type www or not, the site you are trying to get to will most often still load but from Google's point of view, if one of these doesn't redirect to the other, it’s actually seeing two versions of your website (one with www and one with no www). Google may then interpret these pages as being duplicate content and penalise your website.

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How does a www resolve improve my SEO?

There are two ways that having a www resolve can improve the SEO performance of your website. As we just mentioned, it stops Google from thinking you have duplicate content, so you won't be penalised in the rankings.

The www resolve helps to redirect your readers to a designated web page meaning it is helping to drive all your traffic to one spot instead of four separate pages.

How to add a www resolve to your website

The first step is to access your FTP client and head into the root directory of your website, where your index.html is stored. If your web host has set up your hosting properly you will have a .htaccess file in that directory. Transfer that file to your computer, create a backup (just in case), and then open the file with a text editor (eg Notepad++).

Now add this piece of code to the file, replacing “example.com” with your own web address:

To include the www:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.example\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]

To exclude the www:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.example\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://example.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Now, save the .htaccess file, upload the new version and overwrite, then test your website again.

Done! See – not that hard after all! Some hosts even provide the ability to set up a www. resolve in their domain console which makes things even easier.

Keep an eye out for the next article in our Simple SEO Tips series – we’ll be covering internal linking.

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Author

Nathan Manning

Nathan’s SEO knowledge runs so deep that fellow gorillas question his ability to maintain a social life. Seriously, there’s a lot to know - but this guy is an SEO Rainman. Somehow, he’s still the first primate to the bar, sharing a story with craft beer in hand. After co-founding the agency, Nathan has sharpened his online marketing wisdom into a fearsome internet-dominating weapon. And as any prophet-appropriating digital native knows, the keyboard is mightier than the sword - so Nathan brings his ecommerce marketing wisdom to our Jungle Gym learners as often as he can.
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