TheMadScientist - 11:32 pm on Jul 5, 2010 (gmt 0)
The / you are talking about doesn't really matter... Using dir/index.html vs dir/ doesn't really matter as long as only one is accessible... Using www. or non-www. doesn't really matter... I would say:
Google doesn't really care if your html / xhtml tags are closed correctly, so the canonical reference should have the same effect with /> or with >.
/index.html is some extra unnecessary characters, and I don't think it looks as good or professional personally, so I don't use it. (Of course, I don't ever use a trailing / at all in my URLs either, because although some may disagree, IMO it's just an extra character that the visitor doesn't really need, so my URLs end with no trailing /.)
Using non-www. is something I decided to do on one site, and I'm going to keep it that way because I have more domains I can use to serve graphic from, but I probably won't do it again, because one of the biggest, best reasons I've heard for adding those extra characters to the front of the domain name is the ability to use non-www. as cookieless and serve images from there... It doesn't work the other way. If you set a cookie on non-www. the cookie is sent by the browser to any subdomain by default with every request made, even if it's not needed, but if you add the 4 extra characters to the front of the domain the cookie is not sent to the non-www. version (unless you specify .example.com when setting the cookie), so you can actually speed things up a bit by serving 'cookie unnecessary' files from the non-www. version while serving the 'cookie needed' pages / files from the www. version.