My websites are hosted on Amazon Web Services, but we moved from one physical server to another (i.e., the IP addresses changed). We were using www for our site before the new site came up. The www URLs redirected to the non-www URLs.

After the move, I had re-verified the domain using the file method in Google Webmasters Tools, and when I was trying to set the preferred domain to the non-www, I could see the non-www option was grayed out.

Google Webmasters Tools help stated that I need to create separate profiles for www and non-www versions which I have (and verified the new non-www property as well). Now however neither URLs are indexed in Google.

  1. Is creating two different properties necessary?
  2. I've submitted sitemaps for both properties. Will Google give relevance to only one of them? If so which one?

3 Answers 3


In the case where you have both www and non-www verions of the site readily available (i.e, you are not using 301 redirects from www to non-www or vice versa), yes, both profiles should be created in Google Webmasters Tools (GWT).

However, you should also then specify your preferred domain to GWT, so that Google doesn't treat the www and non-www versions as separate references to separate pages. Google will not give preference to one over the other, and in some cases your www version may even compete against your non-www version.

Note: Google also suggests that you create a 301 redirect from your non-preferred domain to your preferred one, so that other search engines know what your preferred domain is.

One way to implement this is by using URL rewriting in your .htaccess file. If you do a 301 redirect in this way, you don't technically need to create both www and non-www profiles in GWT the first place, because Google will never be able to index the version that you're redirecting away from.


I add my sites with www and non-www versions to Google Webmaster Tools. The version you don't use won't have much in it, but is good to be able to see that. Adding both versions may show you problems that would otherwise be hard to catch. You may find that there is historical data on one or the other as well.

You should only submit a site map for the property that is not redirecting. Submitting sitemaps to both is a waste of time. Google will realize that one redirects and won't use it.


Is creating two different properties necessary?

In this situation as you stated there are two separate entities, and you need to create two different properties.

I've submitted sitemaps for both properties. Will Google give relevance to only one of them? If so which one?

Google will give same relevance to both.

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