Google is sunsetting the preferred domain setting in Search Console gave site owners the ability to specify which URL to display in search results.
Along with the deprecation of this setting, Google will no longer use any existing Search Console preferred domain configuration.
The preferred domain setting was one of the several ways to signal to Google which version of a URL should be picked up as the canonical for search.
According to Google, there are many other options available, such as:
- Use rel=”canonical” link tag on HTML pages
- Use rel=”canonical” HTTP header
- Use a sitemap
- Use 301 redirects for retired URLs
Even if you don’t do any of the above, Google will still try to figure out the canonical URL on its own.