www vs non-www domain which is better for your site?

I have been doing some research on whether to use www or not in domain of the urls of the site. If you setup wordpress using non-www url structure, then www urls are redirected to the non-www urls. Google also lets you choose which one is preferred domain in webmaster tools -> configuration -> settings:

google-webmaster-preferred-domain-option

Here are some site which I looked at to see if they are using www or non-www urls.

  1. techcrunch uses non-www domain
    techcrunch-preferred-domain
  2. twitter users non-www domain
    twitter-preferred-domain
  3. facebook uses www domainfacebook-preferred-domain
  4. youtube uses www domain
    youtube-preffered-domain

Some things to consider

  1. non-www domain reduces the length of your urls. You get more real estate when the url is displayed in search results.
  2. www domain may look more appealing to some people who are used to seeing www domains as in the internet early days most sites were using www in domain.
  3. From search engines perspective there is no difference. But you should be consistent. Supporting both domains without giving search engines a hint that they belong to same site, may lead to duplicate content.
  4. You can either do a HTTP 301 redirect from one domain to another or set canonical url in the page headers. e.g. if infoheap.com is your preferred domain then on www.infoheap.com this should be set as canonical url in header for home page (http://www.infoheap.com/):
    <link href="http://infoheap.com/" rel="canonical" />

    Similar canonical urls should be set for other pages.

 

Verdict:

It depends on personal choice and there is not much difference in the two options. But its better to choose one and be consistent.

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