When I started this blog back in December I advertised it as www.codeclimber.net.nz, but given the fact that Subtext always strips the www out of the domain name when building internal urls, my blog was being indexed by Google with two different domain names:
- www.codeclimber.net.nz since it was the url I was giving around, that was linked from my post signatures and so on
- codeclimber.net.nz, the url that was generated by Subtext for some of the internal links, and from the rss feed and the Google sitemap
So, to avoid shattering the PageRank and to have a unique identity I decided to switch the official url to codeclimber.net.nz without the leading www.
I loved the www since it was the way the Internet worked when I started using it, with www.something, ftp.something, mail.something, gopher.something, to identify which service was served by the url, but soon I understood that now the "trend" is to go without the www, as all cool guys are without it (well, not all).
Today, on an Italian blog, I read a post about this debate: "Do you like it with or without www?"
The author links to a news about the fact than the ICANN banned the use of the www because:
"Requiring employees to type 'WWW' cost companies over $25 billion last year," said ICANN representative Emil Scharnsdorf. "The average Internet surfer takes two seconds to type 'www' and visits 125 sites a day, add in typos like "qqq" and "ww," then wave your hands over your head three times and you're at $25 billion."
"We're only concerned with the Internet, but it takes Mandy Patinkin three seconds to say 'www' and during the Super Bowl that gets expensive."
Ok, this was a joke, but the debate whether to keep the www or drop it is still very relevant: someone prefer the www because it helps "non tech people" to understand it is a web site url, others don't like it because "That's so 1997".
Anyway, whether you like it with or without, decide one of the two, and stick with it, to avoid the duplicate urls and the Google PageRank problems. And if your site is configured to handle both, use some URL Rewriting technique to have all your urls mapped to your preferred one.