Most people understand “www” in a web address, means World Wide Web, but is the www really necessary?

Many domain names used for the World Wide Web begin with www because of the long-standing practice of naming Internet hosts (servers) according to the services they provide. The hostname for a web server is often www, in the same way that it may be ftp for an FTP server, and news or nntp for a USENET news server. – Wikipedia

I own the domain and if I named the internet hosts, according to the services they provided, I would have:

  • for my website.
  • for a FTP server.
  • for a USENET NEWS server.
  • for a POP3 mail server.
  • for a SMTP server.

…and so on.

However, in today’s world of virtualized servers, SaaS, port forwarding and advanced routing, this type of naming is largely unnecessary. The servers and routing equipment can automatically determine what service is being requested and what ports to use.

When talking SEO, some seem to be a little unsure about whether dropping the www is a good idea. I see questions like:

  1. Does the “www” play a role in SEO strategies?
  2. Does the “www” make it easier for search engines to find a website?
  3. Can the “www” help improve my page rank?
  4. Does the “www” make it easier for people to get to my website?
  5. Does electing not to use the “www” create any additional security risk?

The answer to all these questions is NO!

If anything, the “www” makes your web address longer.

I would like to point out, naming schemes using “www” or “ftp” (and others) can be used as a way organize servers and services. A company’s website and ftp site can be on separate servers, separate networks, or even in separate locations.

If you have questions like these, you probably shouldn’t be playing around with SEO and should hire a professional to help, instead.