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Www and duplicate content

Ask Yoast: www and duplicate content

If the content on different URLs is the same, search engines don’t know which URL to show in the search results. We call this a duplicate content issue. And it can hurt your rankings! Unfortunately, it happens more often than you’d think. Did you, for instance, ever think about the consequences of www or non-www versions of your site?

At Ask Yoast, we received a question about this from Steve Blundell of Avonsci:

“Do the www and non-www versions of a page create duplicate content, and if so how can I deal with it?”

Watch the answer in the video below! 

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www or not?

“The answer is yes, it creates duplicate content. It’s not the worst kind of duplicate content, because Google knows that these things happen, but it’s better to fix it nonetheless. The best way of fixing it is to choose one, either the www or the non-www version and to redirect the other to it. So on, we redirect to We did that because we think it’s cooler and www is a bit old-fashioned. But, choose whatever suits you best, redirect the other and you’re done!”

Note: don’t forget to add the right version of your site to Google Search Console, if you’re using GSC!

Do you have a question about duplicate content, link building or copywriting? Just ask! We’ll be glad to help you out if we can. Send your SEO question to!

Read more: Duplicate content: causes and solutions »

6 Responses to Ask Yoast: www and duplicate content

  1. Mikhail Khorev
    Mikhail Khorev  • 2 years ago

    Make sure you use 301 redirect to pass the authority and backlinks

  2. Alessia Martalò
    Alessia Martalò  • 2 years ago

    Thanks Yoast! The same with the http/https thing :)

  3. Sylvia
    Sylvia  • 2 years ago

    Great info, thank you Yoast!

  4. OllyGames
    OllyGames  • 2 years ago

    Isn’t the question about just using google webmaster tool to “choose” your prefered address?

  5. Dajuan
    Dajuan  • 2 years ago

    Yoast, what’s the impact of changing from an established www URL to a shorter non-www URL?

    The change happens in WordPress (Settings >> General) and at Google too, correct? Anywhere else?

  6. MZ
    MZ  • 2 years ago

    I don’t know why people are still using www, It makes no sense and also increase the length of a URL.

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