www for Search Engine Optimization SEO

www or no www for Search Engine Optimization?

To www or not to www?

This article goes into detail on whether you should have a www or a non-www in your url with a view to better Search Engine Optimization.  If you already have a website, read this article in full before taking any action on your existing indexed website.


www for Search Engine Optimization

WWW or No WWW?


This question came from one of our students who is currently  creating his own web site for his business. Jatin’s website guy has informed him that it is better to have www for his website for SEO. He wants to know what is the authoritative opinion on this. So here goes…

There are two sides to this question.

  1. Is www or non-www better for Search engine Optimization?
  2. Is there any other reason we would opt for either one?


Search Engine Optimization:

As far as SEO is concerned, there is absolutely no difference between the two. Search Engines give equal weightage to www.ischoolofsuccess.com and ischoolofsuccess.com. So whether you have a www site or a non-www site, you are ok for SEO.

However, you have to make sure that all your links originating from your website or externally must have the same notation. Either you use “www” everywhere or you avoid using it everywhere.

BTW, domains without the www in front are called naked domains too.


  1. At this time, you also have to make sure that all your customers are redirected to one of the versions; whichever one you are going with. To do this, you can either make your change in the htaccess file  on a java based server or on your plesk panel.  Redirect to www using htaccess
  2. Another option is to use a “301 redirect(permanent redirect)” to enable sending all users to one or the other.
  3. You must go to Google Webmasters/ Search Console and ensure that you tell Google which one is your preferred domain. Google WebMasters for Search Engine Optmization
  4. Canonical Ref tag: Use this tag to point to the one true copy of a web page. So if you have both www and non-www versions of the page being sought, please use the canonical tag to point to the true version. If you are using WordPress,  the Yoast SEO plugin comes with a Canonical tag option.


Other considerations:

Identification :

Many people like to clearly demarcate their data into proper well-named and easily identifiable folders. Similarly, they want to denote all data that is accessible to users through http:// to come under www. This is to create a well identified difference between other content that is consumed via ftp:// or email.


Cookies may be used in your site for various purposes. Cookies are small text files that reside in the users’ local computers and get transferred across the wire for every call the browser makes to the website.

Cookies are useful for dynamic data but are of no use for static data. For  example, if you are requesting certain images to display on page, the cookies need not be sent. However if your website uses cookies, the web server necessarily sends it to the browser, thereby slowing down the process of image transfer by a little bit.

To overcome this situation, most big websites have segregated out their static content to a new domain that is different from their root domain.  This way, they can use cookies on the primary domain and retrieve cookieless static content from a different domain. Yimg is an example used by yahoo.

Most websites on the other hand retain their dynamic data in the “www.mydomain.com” subdomain and leave their static content in a different sub-domain  such as static.mydomain.com. This enables them to use cookies on the “www.” subdomain.

In conclusion, if you are starting a new website that you plan to make very big, or if it is an ecommerce web site with lots of pictures, it makes sense to have a “www” Version of your site.  


Author Bio:

Deep Janardhanan is the founder and CEO at International School of Success – a startup training and advisory firm set up in Mumbai, India. He has vast experience of creating and managing startup companies as well as projects for multi-nationals. His one day classes for entrepreneurs are a hit with startup founders who want to get going in a hurry – while minimizing risk of loss and failure.

Want to start doing SEO for your website? Go to Deep’s website at http://ischoolofsuccess.com and download the Basic Search Engine Optimization e-book for Free!

This article goes into detail on whether you should have a “www” or a “non-www” version for your website. Did this make sense to you? Do you have more questions? Tell us in the comments below

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