How Does Trailing Slash Impact My Site SEO?

All these years we only focused on major ranking factors such as content and links. But once we start to dig deep into the subject we start experiencing some interesting confusions. One of them is about trailing slashes. The question is how trailing slash really impact our site’s rankings? To this question, John Muller answered in his twitter.

Here is the official tweet from John Muller.

 

 

Here he explained clearly that the trailing slashes on the main domain (host) don’t matter, But it matters in the case of natural urls.

For example for the website: http://www.example.com and http://www.example.com/ here it doesn’t matter which version you are using and same goes for secure (https) as well.

Now let’s say you have some issue in your website and the same content is appearing for two variants.
Example: http://www.example.com/fish and http://www.example.com/fish/ are not equal. Because Google has access to both these versions and no one telling to Google that they are same. So, as a result, it leads to the duplicate content issue for the website.

So, what is the solution to this problem?

The very obvious solution is to redirect one of them to other versions of it. If you are a web designer or developer you can use the following code. Just copy the code below and paste into the .htaccess file.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} !(.*)/$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://%{HTTP_HOST}/$1/ [L,R=301]

Luckily WordPress solves this type of problems for us. This is the reason most SEO’s doesn’t focus similar issues which feels like nothing. But they do create serious issues for the site rankings. Just try it yourself.

Just copy the URL  https://searchenginecall.com/trailing-slash-seo ‎ and paste into your browser see it doesn’t redirect because I am using url’s without slashes at the end. And now try  https://searchenginecall.com/trailing-slash-seo/ this one. This URL redirects to old URL without slash.

They explained clearly at Search Engine Journal (https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-duplicate-content/228513/)

Here is the simple image that helps you to understand!

 

Some FAQ:

To the above tweet, some interesting questions are raised by the readers.

Is there a benefit of having a trailing slash vs no trailing slash on all URLs? 

As in the Google webmaster central blog (https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2010/04/to-slash-or-not-to-slash.html) it doesn’t matter to having slashes at the urls of the page. But in my opinion, it is good not have a slash at the end of the URL because, When you have a slash at the URL it more looks like a directory instead of a URL.

Hope you have a better idea how to keep the trailing slashes on your website.

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