Google Search Console Preferred Domain
Google Search Console Update
Google has recently announced that they are no longer going to be supporting the preferred domain setting in their Google Search Console.
What does this mean?
Well, this feature is not going to be transferring from the outdated version of Google Search Console to the new one.
What is the function of the setting?
The preferred domain setting is an old feature rolled out in Google Search Console. (Previously called Google Webmaster Tools)
The setting lets you communicate to Google which domain you would like to be used to index your websites pages.
Another name for this term would be, the canonical domain.
Why is it leaving?
Google is deleting this feature because they think that there is no longer a need for it.
According to Google, their algorithm is powerful enough to detect the dominant / preferred domain for you based on various signals they pick up across the web.
So what does this mean?
With the deletion of this feature, Google said that “with the deprecation we will no longer use any existing Search Console preferred domain configuration.”
So, the way you can properly communicate your preferred domain to Google now is by building a user friendly website.
Also, Google requests that you have these 4 things in order:
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
What matters about this update?
If you are currently relying on the preferred domain setting in Google Search Console to index all of your correct URLs, you could be losing your search rankings very quickly.
To conclude, you will need to manually go in and double check that your canonical URL that Google lists has not been changed after this update.