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!

  • 1
    Please clarify what you mean by "add a site to google". May 10, 2012 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.

  • 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. May 15, 2012 at 19:33
  • I would recommend using URL rewriting in addition to compliment the canonical tag rather than strictly an alternative.
    – Jonathan
    May 16, 2012 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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.