Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Benjamin Pusch on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Wednesday, September 4, 2013).

Should I use the www version or the one without the www?

Hi guys, It´s me again. So my next dumb seo question ( I am new to this stuff, forgive me ):

so I have my domain... If you type in www.domain.com you are redirected to domain.com, without the www ( seems to be a default setting of my hoster ).
So my rankings weren´t increasing for a while and I was asking myself: why. Semms like I did something wrong, I was constantly building backlinks:

backlinks for www.domain.com

URLRank: 32 Ahrefs Domain Rank: 49 Backlinks: 11 K Referring Domains: 52

while for domain.com

URLRank: 33 Ahrefs Domain Rank: 49 Backlinks: 1.3 K Referring Domains: 8

So guys tell me: Is this actually a problem? So I got a tons of backlinks on www.domain.com, but only a few on domain.com, which seems to be my default one.
Is this actually infecting my rankings? How should I solve this? change the default to www.domain.com? How? Or is this irrelevant because the "link juice" of the backlinks is as well redirected to domain.com

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YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Greg Baka: Hi  ; ; The with-or-without www is probably not the problem. Check with your hoster to see how they are making the redirect. As long as it is a 301 redirect or in your htaccess file you are OK. For extra safety, be sure your canonical tags use and NOT <br /><br />Your big problem seems to be that you are getting cheap links. 11K on 52 domains means that you have over 200 links on each of those domains. That is a BIG red flag to Google for unnatural link building.<br /><br />What&#39;s the story with those links?
  • Fajri Surya Putra: Hey, i want to know more about this, i&#39;ll leave this comment to see further updates from you guys...
  • Brian Smith: Hey guys. Just wanted to chime in and say that I definitely second  ;&#39;s hunch about the source of those links. Some kind of resource that is giving you sitewides? Not that sitewides are inherently a bad thing. But if you have a majority of them coming from low quality sites or sites that are not topically related to your own, you could run into impact on your rankings. Definitely check those canonicals as well as your xml sitemap (if you have one) to make sure you have consistency in which version your are telling google you prefer. While a 301 typically strips away anchor text used in the backlinks, a good chunk of equity will still pass through the 301. Also,  ;, what timeframe(s) were you looking at &quot;for a while&quot; for your rankings data?
  • Dave Keys: You&#39;re probably Penguin bait but without disclosure of a specific URL, who knows? That sounds like a lot of sidebar links and I bet they&#39;re low PR links from offshore hosted domains. My likely advice could well end up being &quot;Get another domain and be a lot more conservative with the links.&quot;
  • Benjamin Pusch: Hi Guys . Don´t worry about my backlinks! These were around for a few weeks and it doesn´t seem like google does not like them in anyway. These links are mainly nofollow anyway and will go away in a bit of time because they are backlinks from &quot;last comments&quot; from Blogs. I really don´t have unnatural backlinks... I have a really steadily workflow creating new BL so that shouldn´t be a problem. ; The thing is I have been increasing my rankings every day steadily and worked my ass up to #3, was on #2 shortly, but now I am stuck! So I was wondering if this is the problem... Thanks for your advice :)<br /> These links are not offshore hosted domain... All backlinks are from german speaking websites :) just sayin :P
  • Greg Baka: Benjamin, how old is your domain? ;<br /><br />I have seen new domains come charging up through the ranks, show up on page 1 for a week or two, and then sink like a stone. Evidently Google like fresh content just a little too much...
  • Benjamin Pusch: Hi my domain is registered in 2013 ;-)
  • Ashish Ahuja: if your www domain is redirecting to non www or otherwise it will make negligible effect to you rankings as all the linkjuice (atleast majority of it) is being redirected to the correct domain. So don&#39;t worry too much about it just look at the Penguin angle and Link Velocity &amp; Link Quality
  • Greg Kristan:  ;you hit it right on the head.<br /> ;Good &amp; fresh content + user experience = better rankings<br /><br /> ;If there is no 301 redirect set up then you are actually competing against yourself for your own rankings!
  • Dave Keys: Is your own website a German language website? ;

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Wednesday, September 4, 2013).

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