When I do a search of my site in Google it shows both:

  • example.com
  • www.example.com

In my .htaccess file I added code to redirect the non-www version to the www version, but both versions are still showing in Google's search results.

Is there anyway to have Google only show the www version?

3 Answers 3


First, I hope you put a proper 301 redirect for any page in your htaccess.

If some of your pages require parameters, like example.com/?p=20, then you need to use mod_rewrite with [R=301] instead of the easier mod_alias Redirect directive in your htaccess. Also, until Google Bot comes again and indexes, it will not update the Google index.

Second, it will take some time for Google to reindex your website. You can try and submit a proper sitemap (sitemap.xml) to google via Google Webmaster Tools but it still might take some time.

Third, you might want to use a rel=canonical tag on your pages - especially if your redirect is not working yet to hint Google for proper indexing of your pages.

  • Yep, if you're using 302, then Google likely keeps the old page in the index. Using canonical or 301 will cause the old page to be deindexed and transfer PR to the new url. Oct 29, 2010 at 18:34
  • 4
    I addition to submitting a sitemap in your webmaster tools under configuration->settings there is a "preferred domain" option that allows you to choose between the www and non version, that might speed things up a bit as well.
    – Joshak
    Oct 29, 2010 at 18:59

In addition to Evgeny's very good points, it should be noted that the Google Webmaster's tool allows you to specify a preferred domain, either with or without the www prefixes. Google's explanation of this option follows:

The preferred domain is the one that you would like used to index your site's pages. If you specify your preferred domain as http://www.example.com and we find a link to your site that is formatted as http://example.com , we'll treat that link as if it was http://www.example.com . In addition, we'll take your preference into account when displaying URLs in our search results. It may take some time for changes to be reflected in our index.

You'll find the option under "Site Configurations\Settings".


A little bit of an aside, but why do you still want to use the www domain? It's no longer necessary and adds more bloat to your url. Check out the no-www project for more info.


As to your problem, give Google sometime to reindex your site and be happy that your site is still showing up twice in the results.

  • 2
    It has been asked before and there are valid reasons to leave the www: webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/507/… Oct 31, 2010 at 0:42
  • also google showing twice the same result also means that google is giving half the credit for each result. so instead of being on the first page with your single result, you are on the 5th page because of content duplication. Oct 31, 2010 at 0:43

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