You already know that Google introduced the new Search Console in January. Google has now announced that the new Search Console will NOT support the Preferred Domain Setting.
Google stated that the reason for removing the Preferred Domain Setting is that often websites have the same content on multiple URLs, and to make things easier Google will now recognize and pick the one “canonical” URL for you.
You can still let google know your preferences.
Google is not really taking everything out of your hands; you can still let them know which is your preferred domain. Here are some of the ways in which you can accomplish this:
- Use “canonical” link tag on HTML pages
- Use “canonical” HTTP header
- Use a sitemap
- Use 301 redirects for retired URLs
For more details on ways in which you can communicate your preferences to Google, take a look at its help center article – Consolidate Duplicate URLs.
How this update affects you
Google has made it very clear that they will no longer use any of the existing Search Console preferred domain configuration and setting. Hence, it is important that you check your Google search results to ensure that the canonical URL you listed in Google has not changed with this update.