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Open ended URL's - why not close them with trailing dash or something.
Whitey




msg:4103645
 11:53 am on Mar 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm looking at one of the most popular US e-commerce sites and notice that their SEO's [ who are amongst the best ] have the site in this URL format :

www.abcdefg.com/widget

Any character after any of the widget terms returns a 404.

I always thought it was best practice to use a trailing dash or something to prevent canonical problems.

Can someone enlighten me - is this a better practice that's being adopted?

 

tedster




msg:4104226
 5:14 am on Mar 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

The convention (not followed very widely these days) is to use a trailing slash if it is the index page for a directory and no trailing slash if it is one of many pages in the directory named just prior.

But that's a convention and not really vitally important in an age of easy url rewriting. What matter is that the url resolves only one way, and not both.

gn_wendy




msg:4104285
 8:04 am on Mar 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

worked on an old site with a .html trailing and a not perfect URL structure a while back.

changed it using the convention tedster mentioned and, though it didn't on it's own work magic, it at least improved the aesthetics of the URL and I am sure it worked with the other redesign issues to improve the overall ranking and crawlability of the site.

that site is now doing well.

TheMadScientist




msg:4104293
 9:01 am on Mar 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I use no trailing / none of the time, unless I absolutely have to... I don't like the way the / looks on the end of the URL for some reason, to me it seems unnecessary and it makes me feel like something's 'unfinished' like there should be more or something, plus it's way too easy for me to strip the / or .ext or /index.ext using mod_rewrite to not do it, but unlike the site the OP mentioned you don't get a 404 from mine, because IMO it's a poor user experience and it seems obvious (to me) they would probably like to find the content at example.com/somepath/ at example.com/somepath if they typed the / on the URL thinking it should be there.

Status_203




msg:4104298
 9:28 am on Mar 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Using a trailing slash also used to be mentioned as a way of doing friendly urls if you had scripting but not rewrite functionality - Create the directory, put in an index.php (or other scripting language) that creates the page and, voila, when you request the friendly named directory it automatically picks up index.php and generates the page at the friendly address.

FranticFish




msg:4104302
 10:02 am on Mar 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I love extensionless urls. User-friendly, and they look cool too.

Any page that has sub-pages should IMO be the root file of a folder - I've always found structures like

blog.html
blog/post.htm

a poor second. If there's a folder then it begs the question that there is a root file in that folder.

Ends in / - it's a folder, doesn't - it's a page. And if people forget the trailing / for folders, the server will add it anyway.

TheMadScientist




msg:4104905
 1:24 am on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

If there's a folder then it begs the question that there is a root file in that folder.

Only to a webmaster...

/blog
/blog/post

IMO Looks much better to the average, everyday end user, and besides, /blog/ really only displays a web page, just like /blog does... It's not like there's anything different or 'special' about the page or content, except for what the URL someone building a site thinks they should look like. They each display a 'page' on the site. /blog/ does not display anything 'extra' or do anything 'different' because it's a 'directory' in the URL... IMO It's just another page.

Anyway, just my continued .05 (inflation) about leaving the trailing / on or not...
Personally, I wish they'd remove the trailing / here too, but I'm being picky now... :)

dstiles




msg:4104909
 1:36 am on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think it depends on whether the url is complete in itself or is the root of a default index file. Eg example.com/ is expected to load the home page, and example.com/folder/ would load the default page in the folder.

As I recall, the web browser, if it fails to load the default page from (eg) example.com/folder will add the trailing slash and try again (not sure if it's the browser that does this or if the server issues a redirect; I think the browser, from memory). So in that case it makes sense to include the trailing slash to avoid extra work.

If the url example.com/pagename is an actual page (ie a file with no extension or an interpreted name) then the url is complete in itself and should not be expected to have the trailing slash which would, if present and unchecked for, cause a 404.

g1smd




msg:4104931
 2:33 am on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

example.com/page - is the extensionless URL for a page in the root.

example.com/folder/ - points to the index file in the folder.

example.com/folder/page - is the extensionless URL for a page in that folder.

This is a part of the HTTP specs. Don't break the web by ignoring that - and we see a great many people visiting the WebmasterWorld Apache forum who are having problems with their sites because they chose to ignore the specs.

TheMadScientist




msg:4104938
 3:01 am on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

This is a part of the HTTP specs. Don't break the web by ignoring that - and we see a great many people visiting the WebmasterWorld Apache forum who are having problems with their sites because they chose to ignore the specs.

I thought there was a way to designate the location for the index page of a specific set of documents within HTTP Specifications:

[w3.org...]

Neither the linked 'index' text, nor the <link rel="contents" href=""> (in the source code) reside at a 'directory' URL on the site liked above, which if you are correct, at least one should. In fact, trying to request the URL I linked http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/links.html without the links.html http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/ results in a 403, Forbidden Error, but according to your post this 'breaks the web' and is not in accordance with HTTP Specification?

Has anyone who has reported an issue ever also reported they were designating the index of a collection of pages (documents) as a page (document) at another location rather than leaving it for the User Agent to decide where it most likely resides?

And, please, don't imply it breaks the web to do certain things unless it really does, because it does not in any way break the Internet to use a page URL as an 'overview' of a collection of documents rather than a trailing / URL (the w3c does it) and IMO any SE related issue would be corrected if the person with the issue added <link rel="index" href="/location"> markup to the pages (documents) in question.

Has the preceding ever been suggested as a solution in the Apache Forum and, again, has anyone whom reported an issue ever reported using proper document relationship markup on the pages (documents) in question?

You do not in any way need to use a trailing / to have an overview page (document) for a collection of documents and if some user-agents (not people, they'll 'get it') have difficulty in making the connection it is easily corrected according to HTTP Specification using the specified document relationship markup, and to say otherwise is, IMO, very misleading.

Here's a reference for the possible link relationship types [w3.org] for those interested.

The w3c even goes so far as to recommend using document relationship markup within links and documents [w3.org] to aid search engines in indexing websites...

FranticFish




msg:4105036
 8:37 am on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

If there's a folder then it begs the question that there is a root file in that folder.

Only to a webmaster...


And to Google.

Do you force users to /home.htm when they request your domain?

No?

Then why adopt that convention inside your site?

Status_203




msg:4105074
 9:56 am on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

The similarity to unix and other disk operating system filename conventions should be taken as purely coincidental, and should not be taken to indicate that URIs should be interpreted as file names.

Tim Berners-Lee RFC1630 Universal Resource Identifiers in WWW [ietf.org]


The same document does say that a path that contains slashes "these must imply a hierarchical structure".

My web sites are collections of pages (with a hierarchical structure). Every (ok nearly every) request for the domain loads the same file. The path is merely a database identifier (and every one is unique - fewer canonical issues than a web server's interpretation of a file system). Why should I use file system conventions?

[edited by: Status_203 at 9:59 am (utc) on Mar 26, 2010]

pageoneresults




msg:4105075
 9:56 am on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

We started going extensionless last year. The one major issue right now is how Yahoo! and Bing strip off trailing forward slashes on display URIs. I want to smack both of them, really hard! They've been doing this for years, Webmasters have been complaining for years and still not resolved.

TheMadScientist




msg:4105308
 5:12 pm on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think you're misunderstanding:
Do you force users to /home.htm when they request your domain?

1.) Some sites do... I've even seen sites use (redirect to) /keyword (extensionless) for their home page.

2.) I actually do the opposite. I shorten everything I can by removing the / too so http://www.example.com/ is the home page, but the directory overview is located at: http://www.example.com/directory rather than http://www.example.com/directory/

The same document does say that a path that contains slashes "these must imply a hierarchical structure".

It does, and they sure do, but that does not mean the index of the directory or 'hierarchical structure' must be located at /directory/ If you can find where it says otherwise, meaning, 'You must use /directory/ as the 'index' page of a collection of documents in the hierarchical structure', please let me know.

And, you can actually designate the default page for a directory URL request to be anything you want if you have enough permissions... it could be foo-keyword-garbage.ext meaning a request for /directory/ would return the contents from /directory/foo-keyword-garbage.ext if you decided to set it that way on your server.

There's not any requirement as to what the file name is at all. It could create some added confusion by calling it 'index' which may make people think since the default file is usually called 'index.ext' it must be an 'index' of the contents of the directory, which is not the case.

The index of the contents of the directory can be located anywhere. There does not even need to be a unique index for each specific directory on a site, because a single page (document) could contain the 'index' of multiple directories on the site. (This does not discount the use of directory structure in the URL for organization in any way.)

The default page (document) loaded for /directory/ requests can be called anything. The directory hierarchy does play into organization, but there is no requirement stating you must present an index of the directory when someone requests the root.

The actual index can be located anywhere, including on a page one level up from the directory, with the same name as the directory, which is where mine are, and if you request the /directory/ location thinking you should find an index or something there, I even redirect you to the correct location, which happens to be a page one level up from the directory you requested and has the same name as the directory.

It's not only within the HTTP Specification for me to use any page within the hierarchy of my site for the index of a directory, it's the correct use of a 301 Redirect to take someone from where they thought they could find something like an index of a directory to the location where they can find the index of the directory...

Why should I use file system conventions?

I don't really care what you do and don't think you should if something else works better for you and your situation... The only reason I got involved in this discussion again is because it was stated it's against HTTP Specification to not use the /directory/ location as an index of the documents contained in the directory which IMO is either a complete misunderstanding of the Specification or pushing an agenda as if it were the Specification, and I don't think either is good for the people who read here.

TheMadScientist




msg:4105385
 7:16 pm on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

Let me expand a bit more on /directory/ from a server perspective, and why I can remove the slash and it's not a big deal, because there may be some confusion about what it is or does...

A request for /directory/ is a request for the default file of a directory. It is not a request for the 'index' of a directory specifially. Usually the default file of a directory is the 'index' of the directory, or an 'overview' of the directory, but (to the best of my knowledge) it is not required to be the index of the directory or an 'overview' of the directory and the location is not required to display any content whatsoever.

The following should be pre-pended with 'basically' or 'generally'.
In the server configuration file there is a setting for the default file the server should display when a root directory is requested. It is usually index.ext.

If there is no 'default' file in the directory, if directed to (most are) the server shows a 'generated' index of the files in the directory as a convenience. If the server is not directed to (or directed to not) create an index of the files in the directory it will generally display a '403 Forbidden' error page. (This is what happens on the w3.org site.)

The setting of the default file to show for directory requests is configurable and can be set to display *any* file in the directory by default for root directory requests. The file could be set as 'home.htm', 'foo.php', 'widget.pl, 'whateveryoufeellike.anyexthere' for the default file a root directory request displays to the user... It is usually index.ext, but it does not need to be.

Knowing the preceding:
If a person requests the root file of a directory on one of my sites they receive a 301 Redirect, because I have moved the default file (contents) to display for the directory request to one level above the actual directory in my site hierarchy on a page with the same name as the directory.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing this.

A request for /directory/ is a request for the server set default file of the directory, which is not required to be an index of the directory, even though it usually is. I have changed the location of the information usually presented for a root directory request (the default page to display) to a page one level above the directory with the name of the directory.

There is absolutely no reason why I cannot, as a visitor convenience, redirect the visitor to the new location of the information the default file for the directory would display if it was in the directory rather than serving a 403 Forbidden Error to the visitor when they request the default file for the directory.

Here's another way to look at it:
Most servers are configured to show a default file for a directory request, serve a generated index of the directory, or serve a 403 Forbidden Error for directory requests. I have configured mine to have the default file to show for a directory request be one level above the directory with the same page name as the directory.

There is no protocol or specification in the HTTP Docs I have ever seen saying I cannot change the location of the default file to display for directory requests to any location I feel like. (If you know of one, please provide a link to the resource.)

There are ways to help user agents (including search bots) understand where the index of a directory (or multiple directories) is located.

There is no 'breach of' or 'added confusion within' my directory structure or hierarchy by displaying an overview (index) of a directory one level above the directory in the site architecture.

It actually makes quite a bit of sense to me to have a page overviewing the directory one level above the directory itself...

Look at this:
http://www.example.com/directory/sub-directory/page1
http://www.example.com/directory/sub-directory/page2
http://www.example.com/directory/sub-directory/page3

The 'overview' of the sub-directory is located at:
http://www.example.com/directory/sub-directory

The 'overview' of the directory is located at:
http://www.example.com/directory

There may only be one accessible page in the directory above the directory a specific page is located in, but that's where you'll find the 'overviews' of the directories on my sites...

http://www.example.com/directory overviews what is inside http://www.example.com/directory/ : http://www.example.com/directory/sub-directory overviews what's inside http://www.example.com/directory/sub-directory/ there is no issue with what I am doing WRT HTTP Specification, and I personally have not ever had an issue with Search Engines even though I have been using this type of site organization for years.

If you choose to use the / on the end of your URLs, then cool, feel free to do so. It's completely up to you if you decide to show your all of your content as the 'default page' for a directory rather than on a specific page of your site, but redirecting one level up from the directory for the default page (EG /directory) is essentially the same as redirecting to the actual page name of the default file to be shown for directory requests (usually index.ext EG /directory/index.ext). Neither is wrong to do, but IMO one is definitely more attractive in the address bar, shorter and much easier for type ins...

Anyway, the reality is most sites I've seen with indexing issues have much more wrong with them than not using the /directory/ convention as an accessible URL, so my answer to the question the OP has (why not close the URL off with something?) is: Because there is no need and I don't like the trailing / on the URL, but each to their own on this one.

Just make sure you have good logical hierarchy in your URLs, solid link architecture, use link relationship markup within your documents and links if you think there could be confusion with some user agents (bots) or want some 'added assurances' and do what you think is best and most accessible for visitors, because all mechanisms are essentially the same, but IMO some look better and are easier to use than others.

FranticFish




msg:4105461
 10:26 pm on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've even seen sites use (redirect to) /keyword (extensionless) for their home page

Me too and it fecks me off. Why? Totally unneccesary.

each to their own on this one

Agreed. You clearly know what you're doing with your urls so I guess it's just a question of preference. To me the / signifies a folder so

example.com/folder

is not a folder but a page in the example.com folder to which nothing 'belongs', whereas

example.com/folder/

indicates that there is a collection of documents that 'belong' to that location.

But when I first started making sites I used to put all the pages in a /pages/ folder so WTH do I know :)

TheMadScientist




msg:4105478
 11:00 pm on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

But when I first started making sites I used to put all the pages in a /pages/ folder so #*$! do I know :)

LMAO!

I'm sure your system works fine for you...

example.com/folder

is not a folder but a page in the example.com folder to which nothing 'belongs', whereas

example.com/folder/

indicates that there is a collection of documents that 'belong' to that location.


Ahhh, but the actual process of determining 'documents belong to' is a bit different, IMO...

I'm not trying to argue, just show something I think might be interesting to readers, because I think there is a semantic difference in how things work, mainly WRT search engines and bots. It's a semantic difference that follows, and like I said, each to their own, so I'm only pointing out what I see as a slight difference for the sake of discussion (and hopefully understanding) more than anything else.

example.com/folder is technically a page (document) that 'belongs' to (or in) the directory 'example.com' and on my sites 'overviews' the pages (documents) contained within /folder/. It, on my sites, gives you 'information about' the contents of /folder/ before you visit and lets you select the page you would like to view in /folder/ before entering the directory.

Actually, nothing 'belongs' to /folder/ (the document displayed by default) nor to my page /folder (generally)... The page (content, document) displayed at the location /folder/ when requested is simply the 'default' page set in your server configuration (usually index.ext), which, without a redirect can also be viewed at /folder/page-name.ext.

The 'default page' is, by default, just one of the collection of documents 'belonging' to (or in) the /folder/ (directory) and may or may not, in the absence of other information, be 'weighted' as 'more important' than the 'non-default' pages of the collection of documents within /folder/ by a search engine.

As far as 'belongs' goes it is more likely to be 'designated' by search bots as the default 'start' or 'index' of a collection of documents in the absence of an 'index' or 'start' document being explicitly defined through the use of link relationship markup or the ability of the SE bots to determined a different 'start' or 'index' through the link architecture and directory structure, but to say the other documents 'belong' to the 'default document' is, IMO, not quite how it works...

It may be 'assigned' the way you describe by default or in the absence of other information, but, IMO in the presence of other information or other direction this is not necessarily the case, so it may be your default page displayed at /folder/ is 'set' as the 'index' or 'start' of a collection of documents by default, but at the same time, it may be my /folder page is 'set' as the 'index' or 'start' of a collection of documents through the link architecture, site structure, or explicit link relationship markup contained within the collection of documents, the short version of which means: My document displayed at /folder has exactly the same 'weight' and 'effect' as your document displayed at /folder/ so either should be fine to use... :)

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 11:08 pm (utc) on Mar 26, 2010]

g1smd




msg:4105482
 11:12 pm on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

the directory overview is located at: http://www.example.com/directory rather than http://www.example.com/directory/

Here's the rub.

A link like
href="logo.png" linked from the first one points to http://www.example.com/logo.png and from the second one points to http://www.example.com/directory/logo.gif, and that's what breaks a site when people fail to understand that. URLs for folders have a trailing slash for good reason.
TheMadScientist




msg:4105496
 11:34 pm on Mar 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

So, people should know how a site and links work before they work with completely entensionless URLs? Agreed, but to say it's not in line with HTTP Specification is absolute FUD and posting it's not according to the HTTP Spec. or 'breaks the web' in what seems to be an effort to get people to not do it, and also makes it look like those of us who do either don't know what we are doing or are breaching some sort of protocol you have explicit knowledge of is, IMO, poor, unless your information is actually correct, rather than what seems to be a way around teaching and explaining.

Personally, I think it is much better to discuss and instruct if necessary than make false and misleading statements about HTTP Specifications, because then people who visit WebmasterWorld learn and get good information from the forums rather than absolute FUD like they do many place.

Status_203




msg:4106287
 8:41 am on Mar 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've even seen sites use (redirect to) /keyword (extensionless) for their home page


Me too and it fecks me off. Why? Totally unneccesary.


I disagree, I'm currently doing that as well and for a reason.

I'm currently focusing a site on a sub-niche for penetration reasons. However, if it takes off then it has the potential to cover over sub-niches within the overall niche. If this happens then I don't want to my current sub-niche homepage to have to change urls from / to /keyword .

So what I have done, I have done in anticipation of future changes.

FranticFish




msg:4106370
 12:53 pm on Mar 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I was really referring to /home which I see regularly.

TheMadScientist




msg:4106463
 4:13 pm on Mar 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Funny I was referring to /keyword and I didn't post my absolute agreement with your statement, because I didn't notice it until I came back and re-read again later... I don't like it either. Saw it happen for the first time the other day (to /keyword) and thought 'How tacky?'.

I can understand why Status_203 would want to use it, but from a visitor and site owner perspective I found it odd at best and didn't like it much... Also, as a site owner, I wanted to view and link to the home page of the site, not some keyword inner page.

If it was /home or /index or even /overview I would have simply linked to the root and let people get redirected, but /keyword basically 'screams' built for search engines to me, personally. (I can't think of any other reason to redirect to /keyword... It's Status_203's underlying reason IMO, because their site might grow, but it's really not, again, IMO as much for visitors as it is for future ranking purposes. No offense intended Status_203)

I actually almost didn't add the site to the directory I was building at all because of it and finally decided to add it so if I decide to remove it from displaying it's already in the DB and no one else will be able to add it back in.

It will most likely be removed from the 'main' listings section where all the home pages are listed, because it makes my directory look 'odd' to have one site with the /page-name on the directory page where all the other sites listed are domain name only, so I guess the short version is: If they want to have an inner page as a home page, then they can live with being listed with individual page listings rather than with all the other domain names.

I'm not sure if it would have any 'super positive' effect on rankings (I really can't see how it would, but this isn't one I'm going to test personally), and IMO it has a definite negative effect on visitor experience. Mine any way. Can you imagine what someone who doesn't know the web might think? Where's the home page? Why can't I look at it? I keep deleting this word and my browser keeps putting it back in... What's going on? Not really the site I want to send visitors to.

It's not even like the page is called /home or /index so people can understand 'Oh, this is the home page...' It's /keyword!

blend27




msg:4106585
 8:29 pm on Mar 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

One thing pageoneresults mentioned that made me remember that Slurp will also try to fetch the default document if the URL is in subdirectory:

http://www.example.com/directory/sub-directory/page1

it will try

http://www.example.com/directory/sub-directory/

and

http://www.example.com/directory/

and if

http://www.example.com/directory/ is the same content as http://www.example.com/directory is there a duplicate content issue on Yahoo SERP?

So, that SEO firm was probably doing that for a reason.

Something to think about...

TheMadScientist




msg:4106618
 9:28 pm on Mar 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

http://www.example.com/directory/ is the same content as http://www.example.com/directory is there a duplicate content issue on Yahoo SERP?

So, that SEO firm was probably doing that for a reason.

Yes, absolutely it would be duplicate content, and you're probably right about the reason they are not serving any content, but IMO it's better to redirect than serve a 404, because then you not only tell bots where the information is, you also direct any visitors who try to visit with the / to the correct location, and you get credit for any links to the incorrect location...

Personally, I think the SEOs working on the site could probably make an adjustment and do a better job than they currently are, if they are not redirecting... I certainly would (and do) redirect for the reasons I have mentioned.

Status_203




msg:4106867
 8:40 am on Mar 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

No offence taken TheMadScientist, but it really isn't done for ranking purposes but for "Cool URIs don't change [w3.org]" reasons.

You might link to domains, but a lot of people link to pages. If / was currently my sub-niche homepage, and they linked to it because they liked my sub-niche coverage, how would they feel if it later changed to be my niche homepage instead? Bait and switch? (edit: and similar reasoning applies to bookmarks as well.)

Besides, you're not normal. No offence meant, I'm not normal either. Nobody on this forum is normal. I don't know what % of normal takes no notice of the address bar at all, but I wouldn't be surprised if it contained nines ;)

pageoneresults




msg:4106893
 9:47 am on Mar 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's completely up to you if you decide to show your all of your content as the 'default page' for a directory rather than on a specific page of your site, but redirecting one level up from the directory for the default page (EG /directory) is essentially the same as redirecting to the actual page name of the default file to be shown for directory requests (usually index.ext EG /directory/index.ext). Neither is wrong to do, but IMO one is definitely more attractive in the address bar, shorter and much easier for type ins


I've been following this discussion closely. I want to confirm something with the above. You're stating that /directory is the same as /directory/index, is that correct? If so, that would be incorrect. I had to jump back a few replies, they are lengthy ones too, I like those, to see if I missed something in the interpretation. ;)

Let's talk about MSNBot and Slurp, the two most disrespectful bots when it comes to URIs. Both Yahoo! and Bing will trim trailing forward slashes whether or not they belong. They've been doing this for years and after complaining about it on Twitter recently, I may have touched based with someone at Bing who can escalate/correct this issue and become a Hero.

Ever since moving into an extensionless environment, I've seen just how severe the problem is with the handling of Display URIs by not only Yahoo! and Bing but all of those who cut and paste what they see on the page, not what they get in their address bar after visiting. Not to mention ALL the scrapers. They scrape, Slurp and MSNBot index those scraped URIs that are lacking trailing forward slashes where they belong. In comes the request for a URI that doesn't exist and now all sorts of things need to be accounted for.

So, just to verify, this...

example.com/sub

Is not the same as...

example.com/sub/

And are treated as such. This is protocol. In most instances, folks will automatically 301 the non-slash request to the slash when it is a root level address. If you don't see that trailing forward slash, then there are multiple things to look at. Is /home being forced as the root level doc? Is /home a document in the root itself and there is an /index file? Or, did the developer forget to implement a 301 if the request should have been forwarded to a root level document? That last one can byte you in the arse if you're not careful. :(

Either way, when you move into an extensionless environment, you'll need to prepare for the challenges that Display URIs present. That's why I've made the decision to go extensionless and start removing the trailing forward slash when a sub-directory does not exist. This was a bad practice I picked up years ago just like most others have. I've been fortunate in that most of those /file/ have turned into true sub-directories so I feel comfortable knowing that it's not too out of hand.

Personally? I think having every URI end with a trailing forward slash presents some challenges. From a semantic viewpoint, you would expect to find additional content under each of those /file/ references. I think you're missing the last part of the equation, the final destination pages and a /file/ reference is probably not the best option in many instances. Especially based on current and future URI trends.

TheMadScientist




msg:4106906
 10:23 am on Mar 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

You're stating that /directory is the same as /directory/index, is that correct?

No, it's in the details:
'redirecting one level up from the directory for the default page (EG /directory) is essentially the same as redirecting to the actual page name of the default file to be shown for directory requests.'

So, redirecting from /directory/ to /directory is essentially the same as redirecting from /directory/ to /directory/index.

IOW: In either case you are redirecting from a 'folder root' URL to a page URL. Either way no information displays at the directory URL, but rather at a page URL.

So, just to verify, this...

example.com/sub

Is not the same as...

example.com/sub/

Absolutely correct... I know you know what you are talking about, but since some of the posts were long and there may have been confusion: No two URLs are the same if there's a difference in the URLs... /Sub /sub /suB are also NOT the same URLs. They are all 3 unique.

I don't ever have the issue you do with Yahoo! Bing or scraper links though... I strip all the trailing slashes... It saves many headaches, because /page and /page/ are not the same URL, but one could be redirected to the other to 'combine' the two and although some like to add the slash, personally I like to remove it, because it eliminates the need to ever worry about duplicate content at /directory/ and /directory/index.html plus I think it looks better. ;)

@Status_203 I really do understand why you're doing it, and at first I really thought it was the right way to do it, even though I didn't like it, but I still think in some ways it has to do with search engines, and I really understand the logic and reasoning from a webmaster perspective, but visitors don't know Cool URIs Don't Change, so I think from a 'technical web perspective' you might be right, but then again, (I was actually thinking this out and typing at the same time) you've changed the URI of your 'home page' from '/' to '/keyword' using a 301 'permanent redirect' (I'm guessing), and it seems if you remove the redirect you'd be changing the URI of your 'home page' back to '/' (Note: If anyone doesn't know what I'm talking about with the '/' being the URI, check out the $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'] in php for http://www.example.com/ sometime and you'll see what I mean.), so I think the 'technically correcter' (can I say correcter?) way would be to noindex the home page and put a single link on it to the content page (key word rich of course for those blasted SEs we all have to deal with), which you would allow to be indexed, then if a visitor wanted to view your home page they could and it's URI would not ever change, but it's content would, and by noindexing it you wouldn't have to worry about it ranking, and by putting a single link to the content page you would transfer the link weight there fairly effectively, and most webmasters would probably link to the 'topical content page' if they wanted to link to you... Anyway, my dime's worth, and no offense at all taken... You're right I'm not quite normal... I always thought people had to meet me in real life to figure that out, but I guess it shows here too... LOL.

Whitey




msg:4122689
 8:23 am on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here's an official update from Google on the matter : [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com...]

It seems both are OK , consistancy being the key , but I still wonder.

Is there some ranking disadvantage in a keyword URL having a backslash or not ?

gn_wendy




msg:4122702
 8:54 am on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is there some ranking disadvantage in a keyword URL having a backslash or not ?


Did you mean backslash as in "\" or did you really mean a slash "/"

offtopic
i only ask because: every time you say backslash as part of a web address - steven dies a little
[xkcd.com...] (@mod: sry if link inappropriate - but i am confused on what the policy is)
/offtopic

if we are talking about trailing vs non-trailing slashes I have seen zero difference - as long as you redirect to the same page and do so consistently.

suratmedia




msg:4122707
 9:39 am on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's better to close "webpage" with .html extension so no confusion to anyone.

Wrong relative linking across "fancy-url-slugs" + mod_rewrite errors may trap you for huge [6 months] of internal duplicate content penalty.

This 44 message thread spans 2 pages: 44 ( [1] 2 > >
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