My company has two websites a main one at www.example.com and one at subdomain.example.com which is a subdomain of the first and is our self hosted blog.

The way Google sees these with the www or no-www (called naked for now on) is that each of these actually are different when the www or naked version is used/not used in the front of the domain. I completely understand this. It is also advised that both should be set up in the Google Webmaster Tools, which I have done. Correct me if I am wrong on that in regard to having both set up.

Now the way it appears is that we can set a preferred domain up in Webmaster Tools only at the root domain level. The subdomain cannot have this and actually says the following: **Restricted to root level domains only**.

So it appears that the domain should follow what the root domain says, which on our preferred one says to display the www.example.com and not the naked version. That is one issue I have in that one displays one way and the other displays another.

Is it that we have the wrong redirects in place for the subdomain? Another question is does this have any affect on SEO in regards to duplicate content on the web in how we have set this up?


1 Answer 1


It doesn't matter if your subdomain is without www prefix and your main domain has www prefix. This is generally the case with the majority of websites.

As long as each is only visible on one version and there isn't a duplicate live on the other, everything is fine (or you may have canonical tags defined instead).


http://wwww.mainwebsite.com (non www prefix redirects back to www)

http://subdomain.mainwebsite.com (www prefix redirects back to no-www, or the URL doesn't resvolve any where; either is correct)

  • moobot - thank you for the answer. How can I tell if there is duplicate content? Please keep in mind I am a complete novice in this particular area. :) Additionally I am not sure why the websites were changed above to example.com. I did think of one more thing - In WMT (like I said earlier) I have all four websites. I also had sitemaps on all four which I came across a website that said you should just have one sitemap, even though you have four listed in WMT. Is that correct?
    – Jay
    Aug 7, 2013 at 13:50

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