Google’s Assault on Microsoft with third level domains

Bethlehem, PA –  Google’s Assault on Microsoft appears to center around third level domain names.   It most likely is not an intentional attack, but it is an attack nontheless.

 A third level domain name is the WWW in a website.

example :

The ‘Mail’ is the third level name

The ‘WWW’ is the third level name.

Currently the vast majority of all websites are hosted on either a Windows or OpenSource platform such as Linux or FreeBSD based operating systems.   These systems are similar to the end user or even basic webmasters, such as HTML only coders.  To them it’s just FTP’ing into the directory and uploading their files.

But there is a nasty problem with Windows hosting that for some reason seems to penalize websites in Google.  For the most part (other than installing non-native software) on Windows it does not support a .htaccess file.

What is a .htaccess file?  It’s a file that instructs the server to handle things such as redirects and file extentions.  Now Windows could support a redirect such as a site wide redirect if you had access to the physical server, meaning you can see the webhosts ‘START’ button however the vast majority of websites out there are hosted on a shared server, meaning that you and a few hundred other people are sitting on the same server somewhere each paying 5-20 bucks a month.  This is where the problem lies.

These people hosted on a shared windows server coding in strictly html (not asp coding, html coding) cannot do any site wide redirects.  The Windows platform just doesn’t support it like Unix based systems do.   Now if the coder was more savvy they could do 301 redirects in ASP, but for the intent of this article we are sticking to the most basic designers.

If a novice sets up a hosting account and uploads a website in just pure html, the automatically have 4 duplicate copies of their website in Google when it’s indexed.  That is right, four copies,  four duplicate copies.

Every one of those pages are exactly the same, because they are literally the same page just showing up under differing url’s.

Now this is a problem and in some cases a big problem.  We recently ran into a client that had 2 domains pointing to the same website,  normally this is a normal practice.   Let’s say that you have and

Well now you not only have 4 duplicate problems,  you have eight.

Since all these pages are the same, and Windows does not support any type of redirects from the FTP level using HTML the webmaster is in this ‘grey area’ where they could or could not be penalized for pushing out duplicate content.

Recently we ran into a problem with Google’s indexing issue, for the exact same issue as above one of the clients site was de-indexed, entirely de-indexed.   The only reason that this happened was the duplicate content issue,  in which it was a Google ‘hates windows’ problem.

See if this was a Opensource server,  we could of thrown code like this in the .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^
RewriteRule (.*)$1 [R=301,L]

Then the problem would of pretty much vanished.  However that is not the case,  because of course Windows redirects when coding in html requires a phone call to the webhost to beg for them to do the following:

1. In internet services manager, right click on the file or folder you wish to redirect.
2. Select the option entitled “a redirection to a URL”.
3. Enter the redirection page.
4. Check “The exact url entered above”, and the “A permanent redirection for this resource”.
5. Click “Apply”.

It’s a gamble to see if they will or will not,  in short,  people are being penalized in Google for just knowing HTML and hosting on Windows.

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