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When I select example.com as my preferred site version like below. It gives me an error as seen in the image. The site was setup as https://example.com before Google Webmasters was added.

  1. Why doesn't it allow me to add a preferred domain to the verified https site?
  2. Why do I need to verify http://www.example.com to prove I own the other 4 versions (http://www. + http:// + https://www. + https://)? It doesn't make sense.
  3. Do I really need to change the nginx config file to allow traffic to all 4 versions of the domain and authenticate them all with google webmasters to use just the https non www version?

enter image description here

  • You should configure your server to allow traffic on all four versions for users. Users and browsers request all different combinations of www/http/https. Three of the four can redirect to the one you choose. You can verify your property with Google with redirects in place. – Stephen Ostermiller Jul 26 '17 at 19:34
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Please forgive me if I missed any part of your question.

Assuming you only have a single HTTPS version of example.com (without the www), simply select "Don't set a preferred domain".

Why doesn't it allow me to add a preferred domain to the verified https site?

Preferred domain settings are strictly for discerning how links are treated by Google assuming you have www and non-www prefixed versions of your site (HTTP or HTTPS).

Why do I need to verify http://www.example.com to prove I own [all 4] versions (http://www. + http:// + https://www. + https://)? It doesn't make sense.

If you don't have one or more of these given addresses, you shouldn't have to.

For every version you do have, it needs to be verified with Google if you want that version created as a property in the Google Search Console or to use a Preferred Domain (which implies two HTTP or HTTPS versions of the same site already available as properties).

Google wants verification of the properties created because (theoretically) all 4 of these addresses can lead to different content or sites (which may or may not potentially be under your control).

Do I really need to change the nginx config file to allow traffic to all 4 versions of the domain and authenticate them all with google webmasters to use just the https non www version?

No.

  • ...verified with Google if you want that version indexed... and ...Google wants verification of the domains it indexes... This is not accurate. I am sure it is a typo. No site need to be verified to be indexed, however, it does need to be verified to create a property in Google Search Console. Can you update this as not to confuse users?Cheers!! – closetnoc Jul 26 '17 at 18:12
  • @closetnoc Lol! Noooo! Definitely typos. =P Please see updates and feel free to leave any further suggestions. – Anaksunaman Jul 26 '17 at 19:28
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    We are cool! I knew what you meant and that you likely brain farted. I up-voted when I left the comment because I had faith. I brain fart all the time along with real farts. I am getting old! I am allowed. Sometimes I brain fart for shock value. It's fun! Cheers Mate!! – closetnoc Jul 26 '17 at 19:35
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    You are getting better at reading minds @closetnoc – Stephen Ostermiller Jul 26 '17 at 19:37
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    @StephenOstermiller I blame the 60's and the 70's for that! – closetnoc Jul 26 '17 at 19:38

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