Google Search Console drops preferred domain setting

Google Search Console drops preferred domain setting


Google announced it is no longer supporting the preferred domain setting in Google Search Console. In short, this feature is not moving from the old Google Search Console to the new version.

Preferred domain setting. The preferred domain setting is an old Google Search Console feature that has been part of the toolset since it was named Google Webmaster Tools. It let you communicate to Google the preferred domain is the one that you would liked used to index your site’s pages, which is also referred to as the canonical domain.

What it looked like. Here is a screen shot of that feature in the old version of Google Search Console:

help document to help Google determine your canonical domain.

(1) Use rel=”canonical” link tag on HTML pages

(2) Use rel=”canonical” HTTP header

(3) Use a sitemap

(4) Use 301 redirects for retired URLs

Why it matters. If you are currently depending on Google to select your preferred domain through this setting, you can no longer depend on that. You will need to ensure that your canonical URL listed in Google has not changed with this announcement. Google did not say if it will communicate in any way to webmasters, publishers or developers through Search Console if this resulted in your site switching its canonical URL in Google’s index. Instead, you need to audit your Google results to ensure no changes were made.

About The Author

RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on SEM topics.

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