Google’s Clarity on Subdomain Effects and Indexing Issues

Google's Clarity on Subdomain Effects and Indexing Issues

Introduction: A Puzzling Indexing Issue

In a recent Google Office Hours Q & A session, John Mueller from Google addressed a perplexing issue related to a website’s apparent lack of indexing. The discussion unveiled a crucial technical SEO aspect concerning domains and subdomains, shedding light on how this could create a misleading perception of indexing challenges.

The Setup: Core MVC and HTTPS Implementation

The individual posing the question had developed a website using the Core MVC framework and subsequently launched it under the secure HTTPS protocol. Despite these seemingly standard practices, they encountered difficulties in getting their content indexed. The question raised whether the web application framework or the HTTPS configuration was causing interference with the indexing process.

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The Query: Unraveling the Indexing Mystery

The query went as follows: “I built a new site on Core MVC and moved it to HTTPS, and I have problems with indexing the new pages.”

Mueller’s Discovery: MVC and HTTPS Not to Blame

Upon inspecting the site, John Mueller made a revealing observation. He noted that the MVC framework and HTTPS were not the culprits behind the perceived indexing issues. Instead, Mueller pointed out that the site was indexed without the www subdomain. Searching for the www version specifically yielded limited results, while a general domain search, like “,” showed the site as indexed.

Mueller clarified, stating, “…I took a look at your site and how it’s indexed. It looks like your site is indexed without the www subdomain, so if you explicitly look for the www version of your site, you won’t find much. If you look for the domain alone, such as, then you’ll find it indexed.”

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The Revelation: WWW as a Subdomain

This situation underscores a critical technical fact about websites: the www version is considered a subdomain of the non-www version. The solution, as proposed by Mueller, involved redefining the problem from the broader “the site is not indexed” to the more specific “the WWW version of the site is not indexed.” This shift in perspective highlighted the importance of checking both the WWW and non-WWW versions of a site for accurate indexing information.

SEO Problem-Solving: Beyond the Obvious

In the world of SEO problem-solving, it’s essential not to stop the search for answers at the most apparent issues. Mueller’s insights serve as a reminder that sometimes the key to resolving a problem lies beyond the seemingly obvious causes. The Google Office Hours recording, especially at the 2:51-minute mark, provides valuable insights into why a site might not be indexing as expected.

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