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Just a quick question: In Google Webmaster tools I have my site set to set to www. and the naked domain.

Do I need to add and verify the site for each variant or do I just keep it as the www and use either reference? thank you!

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Please clarify what you mean by "add a site to google". –  joshuahedlund May 10 '12 at 17:49

2 Answers 2

While it is not necessarily needed to add both the www and non-www versions of your domain for webmaster tools to work; it's a best practice to add them both and then set you're preferred domain (www or non-www) under Configuration > Settings.

It's also a good idea to use the canonical tag in your site to bolster you're preferred domain settings.

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As an alternative to a canonical tag, you can use an URL rewriting tool (like IIS URL Rewrite) to do a 301 redirect from your non-www to the www version of your domain. Or vice-versa if you set the non-www version to the the canonical/preferred domain. –  Giscard Biamby May 15 '12 at 19:33
    
I would recommend using URL rewriting in addition to compliment the canonical tag rather than strictly an alternative. –  Jonathan May 16 '12 at 1:44

Yes, we recommend adding both versions: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.de/2008/10/wheres-my-data.html

One of the main reasons for that is that it makes it possible to check the data for the "non-canonical" version. For example, if you choose to index the www-version, and others have linked to the non-www version (naked domain), then having both versions verified would allow you to see those links directly.

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