Www and non-www, specific case (Ghost Pro) need advice

Hey everyone;

About three weeks ago, I migrated (manually) my content from a WordPress website to Ghost (Pro). Little did I know that the mistakes I was about to make would cost me traffic and rankings.

So, my website was a non-www website and moved to Ghost Pro to a www version of the website. I didn’t think twice about the implications.
A few days ago, I had to renew my domain, and I didn’t want to stay with GoDaddy anymore, so I moved my domain to Cloudflare. The next step was to reconfigure my routes to point back to my ghost website, so I went again with a non-www site.

Everything was unintentional. I’m not much of a technical person, but now I’ve realized my traffic has tanked (non-www) in GSC. I also added the www version of the site to GSC, where I have a lot of different statistics (about 70% of the articles are now ranked under www version of the website)
As for the articles (76 at number), some of them are ranking only as www, and other ones are ranking only as non-www, while a good chunk of them are on Google both under www and non-www versions.
I have many canonicals from www to non-www and vice-versa, which messed up my entire ranking system. And as for backlinks, they are all pointing to the non-www version.

Now, as far as I have seen, if I go to an article of mine under “www”, it redirects automatically to the non-www version of the site (on ghost).

What should I do further? I have no idea how to create Ghost (Pro) redirects from the www to the non-www version of the articles (if needed) for GSC to pick up this non-www version and remove canonical versions from the “www”.
As I’ve seen the redirects are done automatically and nothing is pointed to 404 errors, should I leave it like that?
Does Google decide in time to re-rank my articles or just replace the www versions with the non-www versions?

What are the worst implications and case scenarios for what I’ve done?
I’m looking for your advice.

Thanks a lot for all your help!

If I’m reading correctly, at this point, your old original urls are resolving correctly to Ghost? And without a redirect? If so, it sounds like you’ve fixed the problem and are waiting for Google to catch up.

Be sure to submit your non-www sitemaps.

Invite Google to recrawl the www versions of your pages (submit each one individually) - you want it to discover that these pages are redirects now and that the non-www is canonical.

Moral of story for anyone else moving: www and non-www are not the same - don’t change them if you don’t have to! :)

Hello Cathy,
Yes, it appears that all old www URLs (posts, pages) are being redirected correctly (automatically) to the non-www version.

So, I’ve been doing it wrong by manually submitting pages to the non-www GSC. I will do it to the www ones now, as you mentioned.
But it may take a week as you’re allowed only a handful of requests per day, I guess.

Thank you for your help.
I’ll try to never change it again. I guess it was just confusing at the beginning on Ghost Pro as it recommended I connect the domain with the given DNS specs that reflect only the www version.

Wrong is pretty strong. Maybe ineffective. The goal in submitting the www version is that you want Google to realize it’s the wrong version. Seeing the non-www version again won’t help it do that.

Fortunately you don’t have to submit every page manually. Google also recrawls sporadically on its own. Just hoping to speed things up!

1 Like