Does / at the end of a domain make a difference?

Does / at the end of a domain make a difference? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

Today’s question comes from California where Y-bav wants to know, “There are a lot of rumors about whether or not slash at the end of a domain makes a difference. Is there a difference between getting a backlink pointing to versus And if you get links to both, would your PR– your PageRank– be split?” Your PageRank shouldn’t be split. Google does a very good job of canonicalization So we can normally tell www versus non-www for a site in the same way the vast, vast, vast majority of the time with a slash and without a slash are actually the same web page. So we usually canonicalize or combine those together in a very good way so that your PageRank is not split between the two. Now, it is kind of an interesting question, because in theory, you can have different pages, because those are technically different URLs. And sometimes people will misconfigure things, just like they’ll sometimes have the website at www and not have the website at the non-www. So it’s a pretty safe assumption. And the vast majority of the time, we go ahead and assume that those websites are different. The one thing to be aware of is a lot of– for example, Apache web servers might say, if you land on, then it will often do a redirect to with a slash. And that can add an extra several hundred milliseconds of latency if the user ends up on a different page because they had to follow a redirect. So what you might want to look into is just streamlining things and making sure that whatever the user does, if one landing page will result in a redirect and the other landing page will return really quickly, you might want to try to standardize on the one that’s going to return really quickly. But in the vast majority of cases, it doesn’t matter. And so in the vast majority of cases, we handle it well and canonicalize those two versions together. Thanks for asking the question.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


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