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Will absolute urls help canonical domain issue in absence of redirect? RRS feed

  • Question

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    My site currently shows up in your listings under both the www version of the domain name and the non-www version of the domain name for each page. My site is hosted in a Windows shared hosting environment which does not allow for a 301 redirect to the preferred version of my domain, which is the non-www version. I have submitted a sitemap which uses only the non-www version of the domain for all pages.  My internals links are all relative urls, which means the version of the domain name will be affected by how a user arrived at a page on the site -- if they came from a link with the www version of the domain name, they will see all internal links with this version of the domain name; conversely, if they came from the non-www version of the domain name, they will see all internal links with this version of the domain name.


    I can set all internal links to be absolute urls which use only the non-www version of the domain name. Assuming I do so, a searchbot following an external link with the www version of the domain name would still see the initial page on which it landed as the www version of the domain name but if it crawled the remainder of the site, it would see all other pages within the site as the non-www version of the domain name.

    Question 1: Are absolute urls advisable in terms of producing a consistent internal linking structure for the searchbot in this situation or will I just confuse the searchbot even more?


    Question 2: Will the absolute urls help in any way in consolidating all the backlinks to point at the non-www version of a page from the searchbot's standpoint?

    From my standpoint, the best solution would be to allow webmasters to designate which version of the domain name -- www or non-www -- should be used for all pages and all backlinks would point to the preferred version (which is what Google does). However, since this feature is not available, I am trying to see of there is a valid workaround for myself and others in my situation.

    Monday, July 28, 2008 9:24 PM

Answers

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    Hi,

     

    Not that it is a great solution, but I think in absence of redirect capabilities, absolute URLs might be your best choice for MSNbot's indexing. However, you still may experience a loss in link juice from backlinks split between www and non-www. I know that we are working on the designation suggestion for an upcoming release.

     

    Brett

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 5:26 PM