I know about slash and non slash duplicate content issues within google and use the .htaccess file to sort though my large sites. (I cant use the canonical tag because of the way my large sites are created), anyway I have found solutions for these.
But recently I became aware I did not understand my homepage correctly.
Is it really "www.example.co.uk" or "www.example.co.uk/" with the slash? Or do I choose, even though browsers always show the slash?
All web browerss show the domain with the slash, but I have been very aware that just about all links comming into my homepage, are links without the slash.
What made this more apparent was the "site" command with slash shows slightly diffrent results than without the slash, suggesting that the Goog treats the homepage differently just like internal pages.
So should all links to my site include the backslash on root domain or does it not really matter?
Is this issue as important as www to non www and index to root duplicate issues?
Google seems to handle the closing slash issue pretty well on its own these days. Still, it is a best practice to include that final slash. Interesting that the site: operator gives slightly different results for the two variations. The site: operator numbers have been whack-o for a while in other ways, but I hadn't noticed this variant.
A url needs a protocol (a web browser will assume http if not supplied), a domain and a path. www.example.com has no path. www.example.com/ is a request for the root "/" at www.example.com .
If I attempt to go to www.google.com in my browser then I end up at www.google.com/ . So where is this happening. Using Firefox with the Live HTTP Headers add on shows me making no request for www.google.com but immediately requesting www.google.com/ . So it looks like the browser recognises that www.google.com is not a valid url but realises that in this case what is actually wanted most often is the root path of the domain "/" and so defaults this part of the path just as it defaults the "http://" part.
It would beggar belief if the search engines did not realise that http:/www.example.com is not a valid url, so I wouldn't worry about duplicate content issues in this case.