Preferred Domain no longer part of Google. Drops from Search Console.

This is a big one, yes.

From Google.

Google has now removed the preferred domain option from its Search  Console.

Why has Google made this change?

Because it is now capable of receiving this information from the various details that will be provided to it.

So, what does this mean for digital marketers, specially SEO professionals?

Let’s take a couple of steps back.

What is Google Search Console?

It is “the” place where we submit our site details along with other information.

What is the preferred domain option?

Preferred Domain settings on Searach Console

It is one of the features of Search Console which allows us to basically inform Google whether we want our website to begin with the below options

http://domain.com

https://domain.com

https:// www.domain.com

http://www.domain.com

Which was an easy way of securing our site.

Where we redirect all four versions to the one we want.

Apparently, not anymore.

Google has now dropped this option in the new Search Console (it is present in the older version).

New Google Search Console

And it will discontinue it henceforth.

So how will Google know which version of our site to index?

This is where YOU will help it decide.

By working on the following

1. Canonical link

We always knew that canonical links were important to avoid content duplication.

Now, its value just got pumped up!

You need to decide which version you want your site to be.

And accordingly add it to the site backend.

As before, on every page required.

You should use canonical HTTP headers as well for downloads like pdf.

2. Sitemap

All your sitemaps (HTML, XML, and image) should have the same versions as the preferred one you want.

3. Redirect

Use 301 redirects of all the older link versions to the new preferred one.

3. Conduct frequent audit

Check on the search result pages if Google has picked the right preferred domain.

Run an audit to ensure the same.


Conclusion

Even if you do not work on the above, Google will still try its best to extract the preferred domain details.

But, as we know already, it is better to let it know what exactly it needs to crawl and index.

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