I have multiple domains pointed on the same site. I chose one to be the canonical one, and redirected the others to that using a canonical tag.

In Google Webmaster Tools, I know that I have to add my canonical domain in the www version as well as in the not-www version. But do I have to add the other domains as well? Or is that unnecessary because of the redirect?

  • 1
    You can add them but it'll have no effect on your rankings due to the fact it redirects, and the data will be limited. Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 21:30
  • So it wouldn't make a SEO difference? Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 21:36
  • Absolutely zero. The redirect does the leg work not GWT. Commented Sep 4, 2015 at 21:37
  • I'd only add domains to GWT if at least one URL containing the domain name produces a real page people can see. Commented Sep 5, 2015 at 2:44

2 Answers 2


Think Mike above is spot on -

I'd only add domains to GWT if at least one URL containing the domain name produces a real page people can see.

You've tagged as '301-redirect' - are you using 301's?

I could be wrong here - but if Google crawls a page and get's a 301 (a permanent redirect) - as far as they're concerned the page has moved location and the old location is invalid.

After a while (if they were there in the first place) Google will remove this old 'websites' from their index as it has not content - and you are telling them via the 301 it has permanently moved to a new location.

  • No, I am using a canonical tag only. No .htaccess at all. I recently decided to use another (shorter) domain as the canonical one, with a few others pointing to the website as well, including the old domain. Thing is, I made a lot of content changes, and they are visible in the search results, but under the old domain. That means, the site has been crawled, but the canonical tag didn't lead to the new domain being in the search results. How is that possible? Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 14:39
  • What kind of time frames are we talking about? How long ago did you make the changes? The Google index will take some time to fully update with the most current details as you see them. Also - Re the canonical links - have you been through this - googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/… Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 17:35
  • I have. I did the changes a few days ago. But I thought the fact that the search results changed according to the new content indicates that the page has been indexed. Is that wrong? Commented Sep 6, 2015 at 18:22
  • Tbh I couldn't say - I think I'm right in saying the Googlebot re-indexes on a weekly basis. Does the 'new' site have a sitemap linked in the WMT profile (with correct - new - URL's)? Bit of a long shot that though. Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 5:17
  • It has. But maybe I should wait a few more days then... Commented Sep 7, 2015 at 5:25

It seems like crawling is not the same as indexing. My page has been crawled earlier than it has been indexed, that's why I got confused. Now only the new domain is in the search results.

Thanks to Richard Crosby for helping with this answer.

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