SSL cert is set to force HTTPS - but i can’t seem to set it so the only version that is accessible is secure WWW version. I’ve added all 4 versions to search console. I also submitted a sitemap for each. I noticed both versions of home page are in search. Should only one version be indexed? Should I have submit a sitemap for each version?
I already set www as preferred version. What is best practice?

I’ve been reading for,hours,I can’t figure out what is the best practice proper way.


The best practice is to have a single version of your website

Normally there are 4 versions of your website if you are using HTTPS and 2 versions if you are using HTTP

  1. http://example.com
  2. http://www.example.com
  3. https://example.com
  4. https://www.example.com

The best thing to do is select a version that you want the users to visit and redirect all other URLs to this selected version.

For example you select the 4th URL, then it is good that all the other 3 versions redirect to the selected URL. If you do not wish to redirect users to the selected one then you need to add a canonical link of your selected URL on the other 3 versions or else there might be a content duplication issue. Consider reading this guideline by Google Consolidate duplicate URLs

Which version to add in the search console?

Some SEO blogs advice users to add all versions of the website in the search console Which URL versions to add to Google Search Console. However if you implement the above guidelines of either redirecting or adding a proper canonical link, then it is upto you to add either only one version of the website or all the 4 versions to the search console. Google search console now adds the domain property that automatically consolidates all the versions of your website

Which version to add in the sitemap?

The answer will be the same. If you either redirect or add a proper canonical link, then even if you add all the versions of URLs to the sitemap there should not be any issue with Google.

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