Verifying I own a website

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Morticia

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To get Google to aggregate the www and the non-www version of my website URL, I have to prove I own 'both' sites. No problem with the www version and Google says they will be able to verify the non-www version by using the www one as long as they are both directed to the same location.
OK, question- I have verified the www version. How will I know the non-www version is verified?
Other question- is it a good idea to have Google aggregate those 2 versions? For me, it seems to be an ongoing battle with Google to 'get' that both the www and the non-www are one and the same site.
I finally figured out how to tell them they have relocated my address yet again. Hopefully, a real person will look into it now and fix the problem. Problem being 3 businesses opened at an address terribly similar to mine so Google thinks THEY all know the correct address and I'm an idiot.
 

Scott

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Actually the www and non-www versions can be seen as the same if you (a) have a Google Webmaster Tools account and in the settings tell them to prefer one or the other (doesn't matter which, but from then on, use only the preferred one), and/or (b) get your web hosting company to set up a 301 redirect (they'll know what that means) from the non-preferred to the preferred (say you prefer www, so they set up a redirect so that anyone arriving at your site via the non-www version is automagically redirected to the www version.
On the physical address being similar to each other (was that what you were referring to?), it is a difficult and ongoing issue with Google (through their Place Pages - formerly known as Local Business Center), but you need to be sure that ever (read that again - every - not most, some or a few) place that refers to your address must use the same address as you've told Google you have. They must also use the same local phone number and your name must be the same in every spot (you are XYZ Bed and Breakfast, not XYZ B&B or XYZ Bed & Breakfast).
Google is very literal - any deviation means it may be treated as a different business.
 

swirt

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Go with Scott's B) recommendation of setting up a 301 redirect (mod-rewrite) to rewrite the address to the one you want to stick with. The methods depend on the kind of server you are on, but the end results are the same.
Example, if you want the www version, when you enter the non www version the address bar should actually change. Use this site as an example http://innspiring.com
 

paulavery

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this is good info too
http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/seo-advice-url-canonicalization/
 

seashanty

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?! huh ?! totally clueless ... way over my head.
 

Morticia

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Actually the www and non-www versions can be seen as the same if you (a) have a Google Webmaster Tools account and in the settings tell them to prefer one or the other (doesn't matter which, but from then on, use only the preferred one), and/or (b) get your web hosting company to set up a 301 redirect (they'll know what that means) from the non-preferred to the preferred (say you prefer www, so they set up a redirect so that anyone arriving at your site via the non-www version is automagically redirected to the www version.
On the physical address being similar to each other (was that what you were referring to?), it is a difficult and ongoing issue with Google (through their Place Pages - formerly known as Local Business Center), but you need to be sure that ever (read that again - every - not most, some or a few) place that refers to your address must use the same address as you've told Google you have. They must also use the same local phone number and your name must be the same in every spot (you are XYZ Bed and Breakfast, not XYZ B&B or XYZ Bed & Breakfast).
Google is very literal - any deviation means it may be treated as a different business..
That's where I saw this...Webmaster Tools. When I click to use just the 'www' one, I get an error saying I have to validate I own both versions. There is noting else there to allow me to validate the non-www version. Somewhere else it says that Google should be able to figure it out once the 'www' one is validated.
The other thing I noticed with the map pin is that a LOT of local businesses have been moved to the 'South.' I think I mentioned that to you awhile ago. My pin no longer shows up over there, but a bunch of restaurants have been 'moved.' I don't know if I CAN fix every version of my address that's out there because I don't even add my info to half the places it shows up. All those directories that just grab info grab whatever they find and they are all using the wrong location on Google Places if they provide a map. I'm outnumbered!
 

Scott

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Actually the www and non-www versions can be seen as the same if you (a) have a Google Webmaster Tools account and in the settings tell them to prefer one or the other (doesn't matter which, but from then on, use only the preferred one), and/or (b) get your web hosting company to set up a 301 redirect (they'll know what that means) from the non-preferred to the preferred (say you prefer www, so they set up a redirect so that anyone arriving at your site via the non-www version is automagically redirected to the www version.
On the physical address being similar to each other (was that what you were referring to?), it is a difficult and ongoing issue with Google (through their Place Pages - formerly known as Local Business Center), but you need to be sure that ever (read that again - every - not most, some or a few) place that refers to your address must use the same address as you've told Google you have. They must also use the same local phone number and your name must be the same in every spot (you are XYZ Bed and Breakfast, not XYZ B&B or XYZ Bed & Breakfast).
Google is very literal - any deviation means it may be treated as a different business..
That's where I saw this...Webmaster Tools. When I click to use just the 'www' one, I get an error saying I have to validate I own both versions. There is noting else there to allow me to validate the non-www version. Somewhere else it says that Google should be able to figure it out once the 'www' one is validated.
The other thing I noticed with the map pin is that a LOT of local businesses have been moved to the 'South.' I think I mentioned that to you awhile ago. My pin no longer shows up over there, but a bunch of restaurants have been 'moved.' I don't know if I CAN fix every version of my address that's out there because I don't even add my info to half the places it shows up. All those directories that just grab info grab whatever they find and they are all using the wrong location on Google Places if they provide a map. I'm outnumbered!
.
Morticia said:
That's where I saw this...Webmaster Tools. When I click to use just the 'www' one, I get an error saying I have to validate I own both versions. There is noting else there to allow me to validate the non-www version. Somewhere else it says that Google should be able to figure it out once the 'www' one is validated.
The 301 redirect is a setting on the server (for some webservers it is made in the mod_rewrite settings), and must be done by your web host, unless you have direct access to the servers or to the .htaccess file. However, this redirect tells all visitors (and specifically search engines) that (for example) the non-www version is permanently moved to the location of the www version. That should take care of the verification issue.
To be clear, you still may not be able to verify the non-www version independently, but you should no longer need to verify it, as, to the search engines, it is the same page as the www version.
Morticia said:
The other thing I noticed with the map pin is that a LOT of local businesses have been moved to the 'South.' I think I mentioned that to you awhile ago. My pin no longer shows up over there, but a bunch of restaurants have been 'moved.' I don't know if I CAN fix every version of my address that's out there because I don't even add my info to half the places it shows up. All those directories that just grab info grab whatever they find and they are all using the wrong location on Google Places if they provide a map. I'm outnumbered!
As you and I discussed, we were appearing in incorrect places on the Google map, too. I finally had to go to TeleAtlas, who supplies the maps for Google, and they removed the multiple incorrect locations. There are still a lot of other businesses incorrectly located around us. I asked Google to move one, and they claim they did so, but all they really did is move it to another incorrect location.
 

Morticia

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Actually the www and non-www versions can be seen as the same if you (a) have a Google Webmaster Tools account and in the settings tell them to prefer one or the other (doesn't matter which, but from then on, use only the preferred one), and/or (b) get your web hosting company to set up a 301 redirect (they'll know what that means) from the non-preferred to the preferred (say you prefer www, so they set up a redirect so that anyone arriving at your site via the non-www version is automagically redirected to the www version.
On the physical address being similar to each other (was that what you were referring to?), it is a difficult and ongoing issue with Google (through their Place Pages - formerly known as Local Business Center), but you need to be sure that ever (read that again - every - not most, some or a few) place that refers to your address must use the same address as you've told Google you have. They must also use the same local phone number and your name must be the same in every spot (you are XYZ Bed and Breakfast, not XYZ B&B or XYZ Bed & Breakfast).
Google is very literal - any deviation means it may be treated as a different business..
That's where I saw this...Webmaster Tools. When I click to use just the 'www' one, I get an error saying I have to validate I own both versions. There is noting else there to allow me to validate the non-www version. Somewhere else it says that Google should be able to figure it out once the 'www' one is validated.
The other thing I noticed with the map pin is that a LOT of local businesses have been moved to the 'South.' I think I mentioned that to you awhile ago. My pin no longer shows up over there, but a bunch of restaurants have been 'moved.' I don't know if I CAN fix every version of my address that's out there because I don't even add my info to half the places it shows up. All those directories that just grab info grab whatever they find and they are all using the wrong location on Google Places if they provide a map. I'm outnumbered!
.
Morticia said:
That's where I saw this...Webmaster Tools. When I click to use just the 'www' one, I get an error saying I have to validate I own both versions. There is noting else there to allow me to validate the non-www version. Somewhere else it says that Google should be able to figure it out once the 'www' one is validated.
The 301 redirect is a setting on the server (for some webservers it is made in the mod_rewrite settings), and must be done by your web host, unless you have direct access to the servers or to the .htaccess file. However, this redirect tells all visitors (and specifically search engines) that (for example) the non-www version is permanently moved to the location of the www version. That should take care of the verification issue.
To be clear, you still may not be able to verify the non-www version independently, but you should no longer need to verify it, as, to the search engines, it is the same page as the www version.
Morticia said:
The other thing I noticed with the map pin is that a LOT of local businesses have been moved to the 'South.' I think I mentioned that to you awhile ago. My pin no longer shows up over there, but a bunch of restaurants have been 'moved.' I don't know if I CAN fix every version of my address that's out there because I don't even add my info to half the places it shows up. All those directories that just grab info grab whatever they find and they are all using the wrong location on Google Places if they provide a map. I'm outnumbered!
As you and I discussed, we were appearing in incorrect places on the Google map, too. I finally had to go to TeleAtlas, who supplies the maps for Google, and they removed the multiple incorrect locations. There are still a lot of other businesses incorrectly located around us. I asked Google to move one, and they claim they did so, but all they really did is move it to another incorrect location.
.
Thanks. Will contact my not-too-helpful web host and see what they can do/tell me to do. I know where the pointer/file is for the non-www version so maybe there are also directions on how to do the 301.
I'm a bit nervous now as Google Places dropped me 4 slots last week and now I'm hanging on by my toenails to slot 7. I hate to mess with anything at this point!
 

Scott

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Actually the www and non-www versions can be seen as the same if you (a) have a Google Webmaster Tools account and in the settings tell them to prefer one or the other (doesn't matter which, but from then on, use only the preferred one), and/or (b) get your web hosting company to set up a 301 redirect (they'll know what that means) from the non-preferred to the preferred (say you prefer www, so they set up a redirect so that anyone arriving at your site via the non-www version is automagically redirected to the www version.
On the physical address being similar to each other (was that what you were referring to?), it is a difficult and ongoing issue with Google (through their Place Pages - formerly known as Local Business Center), but you need to be sure that ever (read that again - every - not most, some or a few) place that refers to your address must use the same address as you've told Google you have. They must also use the same local phone number and your name must be the same in every spot (you are XYZ Bed and Breakfast, not XYZ B&B or XYZ Bed & Breakfast).
Google is very literal - any deviation means it may be treated as a different business..
That's where I saw this...Webmaster Tools. When I click to use just the 'www' one, I get an error saying I have to validate I own both versions. There is noting else there to allow me to validate the non-www version. Somewhere else it says that Google should be able to figure it out once the 'www' one is validated.
The other thing I noticed with the map pin is that a LOT of local businesses have been moved to the 'South.' I think I mentioned that to you awhile ago. My pin no longer shows up over there, but a bunch of restaurants have been 'moved.' I don't know if I CAN fix every version of my address that's out there because I don't even add my info to half the places it shows up. All those directories that just grab info grab whatever they find and they are all using the wrong location on Google Places if they provide a map. I'm outnumbered!
.
Morticia said:
That's where I saw this...Webmaster Tools. When I click to use just the 'www' one, I get an error saying I have to validate I own both versions. There is noting else there to allow me to validate the non-www version. Somewhere else it says that Google should be able to figure it out once the 'www' one is validated.
The 301 redirect is a setting on the server (for some webservers it is made in the mod_rewrite settings), and must be done by your web host, unless you have direct access to the servers or to the .htaccess file. However, this redirect tells all visitors (and specifically search engines) that (for example) the non-www version is permanently moved to the location of the www version. That should take care of the verification issue.
To be clear, you still may not be able to verify the non-www version independently, but you should no longer need to verify it, as, to the search engines, it is the same page as the www version.
Morticia said:
The other thing I noticed with the map pin is that a LOT of local businesses have been moved to the 'South.' I think I mentioned that to you awhile ago. My pin no longer shows up over there, but a bunch of restaurants have been 'moved.' I don't know if I CAN fix every version of my address that's out there because I don't even add my info to half the places it shows up. All those directories that just grab info grab whatever they find and they are all using the wrong location on Google Places if they provide a map. I'm outnumbered!
As you and I discussed, we were appearing in incorrect places on the Google map, too. I finally had to go to TeleAtlas, who supplies the maps for Google, and they removed the multiple incorrect locations. There are still a lot of other businesses incorrectly located around us. I asked Google to move one, and they claim they did so, but all they really did is move it to another incorrect location.
.
Thanks. Will contact my not-too-helpful web host and see what they can do/tell me to do. I know where the pointer/file is for the non-www version so maybe there are also directions on how to do the 301.
I'm a bit nervous now as Google Places dropped me 4 slots last week and now I'm hanging on by my toenails to slot 7. I hate to mess with anything at this point!
.
Morticia said:
I'm a bit nervous now as Google Places dropped me 4 slots last week and now I'm hanging on by my toenails to slot 7. I hate to mess with anything at this point!
Google doesn't seem to re-index the Place Pages as frequently as its organic index, but each time they do, we all move up and down a little. Hopefully it won't be permanent, but it may stay the same until the next re-indexing.
 

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