A preferred domain is the domain that we want the users to be redirected to whether they type in www or not.
Earlier, we could choose the domain based on distinctive aspects like the one which is most often bookmarked by the users, or which one is most often used to link to the website.
Now, Google announced that it has removed the preferred domain setting from the old Google Search Console interface.
Along with this, Google will no longer use any existing Search Console preferred domain configuration and now will be focusing on picking one URL as the “canonical” for Search.
“You can still tell us your preference in multiple ways if there’s something specific you want us to pick. But if you don’t have a preference, we’ll choose the best option we find.” says Google.
Here are some of the options available to you:
- Use rel=”canonical” link tag on HTML pages.
- Use rel=”canonical” HTTP header.
- Use a sitemap.
- Use 301 redirects for retired URLs.
You can find detailed explanations on how to tell Google your preference in the Consolidate duplicate URLs help center article.