Setting your Preferred Domain for Google

Google Preferred domain dialogSetting up my own domains was a piece of cake till I learnt that http://www.* and www.* domains are treated as individual sites; they can essentially be pointed to two different hosts returning two sets of traffic data.

So while I’ve been checking my Google Analytics profile for http://www.michaelvisser.com.au over the past eight months I’ve only logically been seeing half the picture. I don’t know the statistics of users across the board that don’t type in the additional www. extension – I habitually enter in the additional extension – but after setting up two Google Analytics accounts I will soon be able to quantify my own.

Google Webmasters Preferred domain window

You can filter which domain extension Google uses to direct your organic listings to using Google Webmaster Tools.

  1. Go to the Google Webmaster Central portal
  2. Select Webmaster Tools
  3. Sign in using your Google Account
  4. Verify your domain; the static HTML document upload is easiest unles you don’t have FTP access
  5. Go to Diagnostic then the sub item Preferred domain
  6. Specify your preferred domain and submit your preference

The listing update will take some time, I’ll be checking the status of my application every day or so until it goes through.

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