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Google site maps www or not

Hi again experts:

Well, I'm confused about the fact that I created an xml google sitemap, and then uploaded it to my google webmaster site www.xxx.com.
The sitemap created itself without the www, so google said I had errors of course since the sitemap did not match the site in my site-list perfectly.

So my questions relating to this are:

1. what is the difference between with or without the www.  
2. should I list my sites in google management as two - one with www and one without?
3. or, is one better than the other?

I can always add the www to the generated site-map (I guess the program I used generates without the www.)

Lastly any comments on how yahoo deals with the www or no-www?

Appreciate the help, this is rather important to know for me - I have 20 sites I manage now, and I need to know before I mess it all up!

Thanks
:)
D
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imagraphicx
Asked:
imagraphicx
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1 Solution
 
humeniukCommented:
"1. what is the difference between with or without the www. "
From a search engine perspective, http://domain.com and http://www.domain.com are two entirely different domains.

"2. should I list my sites in google management as two - one with www and one without?"
No, you should choose one.  You don't want your site to appear twice under two different domains (even just in www/non-www variations).  One will be regarded as primary and will be indexed, but the other will be regarded as a duplicate and will not be indexed.  If you have incoming links to both, only the ones pointing to the primary version will benefit your rankings.

"3. or, is one better than the other?"
Neither is inherently better.  You can choose either.

Once you have chosen - www or without www - make sure your sitemap reflects your choice.
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imagraphicxAuthor Commented:
As always, you are direct in your answers and they are always great, thanks!  So I need to analyse the incoming links, and determine from there which to use on these sites which have been around for 4+ years.  And then adjust my site map either way. ....THANKS AGAIN.
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humeniukCommented:
Glad to be able to help, imagraphicx.  Thanks for the A.

If you have incoming links to both versions (www and non), make sure you create a 301 redirect to redirect the secondary (not to be used) version to the primary version (to be used).  This will make sure that the primary version is able to receive the benefits of all incoming links.
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