Tell Google which domain to use when indexing your website

Canonical domains might be more important than you think. While it seems awesome to have your site available both on “www” and “non-www” domains, this might hurt your SEO on the long run and that’s why Google advises you to choose only one domain which you should use in all future references.

We already explained that it doesn’t really matter which domain you choose as the default one and how to set one up in WordPress.

While this is something you should do as soon as possible, you’re still not done when it comes to search engines, to be more specific, to Google. Now that you have chosen your canonical URL and redirected the other one (WordPress does this automatically if you followed the steps from the previously linked article), it’s time to tell Google the same thing.

Why is this important? According to Google, if you leave both domains active, the most popular search engine will recognize your “www” and “non-www” domain as separate ones. That means that you can actually lose rank on search results page just because you didn’t choose a canonical domain.

To make sure Google handles your domain well, here’s what to do:

  1. Go to (Google Webmasters Tools)
  2. Navigate to search console
  3. Click on the site which you own
  4. Find the gear icon and choose “Site settings”
  5. In Preferred domain section choose the one you like better

Since this affects both domains, you will have to verify that you are the owner of both. Although it will take some time until Google actually makes the changes in indexing your website, this is all you have to do in order to choose canonical URL for your website regarding Google.

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