How to Set Preferred Domain in Webmaster Tools (WWW and Non WWW)

What does it mean to have a www or non-www version of website ? Let me tell you, look at the address bar above, you may see something like – . Even if you type in your address bar then you’ll be automatically taken to, why ? Because I have set the www version as my preferred version for my site and Google has set an automatic redirection to it.

Why Setting Preferred Version Is Important ?

For Google, and, both are different sites. If you do not set a preferred domain and do not add both the version in your webmaster tools then you are letting Google assume that both are different sites and unknowingly you are creating a duplicate site, which may cause you hit the penalty.

The preferred domain is basically what you are asking Google to index that version’s pages. The preferred domain is what you want to see the in the search results.

What Google Webmaster Support Says Exactly about preferred domain :

The preferred domain is the one that you would liked used to index your site’s pages (sometimes this is referred to as the canonical domain). Links may point to your site using both the www and non-www versions of the URL (for instance, and The preferred domain is the version that you want used for your site in the search results.

If you see a message that your site is not indexed, it may be because it is indexed under a different domain. For example, if you receive a message that is not indexed, make sure that you’ve also added to your account (or vice versa), and check the data for that site.

How To Set Preferred Domain in Webmaster Tools

Please note that to set a preferred domain you first have to add both the versions (www and non-www) to your webmaster tools and verify both of them, else it will not allow you to set the preferred domain and will show a message asking you to add both the versions first.

1.) First you have to do is visit your webmaster tools.

2.) Then from the list of websites, click on the website whose preferred domain you want to set.

3.) After the website opens, at the top right side, you will see “Settings Button”. Click on that button.

4.) It will show you something like this :

how to set preferred domain in webmaster tools

Click on site settings in the above.

5.) This will take you to a page which looks like below, here you have to choose which version you would like Google to index.

set preferred domain, www and non www version

Do tell us which version you prefer for indexing.