The SEO Impact of Double Forward Slash Error in URLs

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What to Know:

– A double forward slash error in a URL refers to having two consecutive forward slashes (//) in the URL instead of just one (/).
– This error can occur due to various reasons, such as coding mistakes or incorrect URL formatting.
– Some website owners and SEO professionals have raised concerns about the potential SEO impact of this error.
– Google’s Gary Illyes recently addressed this issue and provided insights into its SEO implications.

The Full Story:

Google’s Gary Illyes recently answered a question about the potential SEO impact of a double forward slash error in a URL. This error refers to having two consecutive forward slashes (//) in the URL instead of just one (/). Some website owners and SEO professionals have raised concerns about the impact of this error on their website’s search engine rankings.

Illyes clarified that a double forward slash error in a URL does not have any direct SEO impact. Google’s algorithms are designed to handle such errors and treat them as a single forward slash. Therefore, having a double forward slash in a URL will not negatively affect a website’s search engine rankings.

However, Illyes did mention that having a double forward slash error in a URL could potentially lead to other issues. For example, it may cause problems with canonicalization, which is the process of selecting the preferred URL for indexing. If a website has multiple versions of the same content with different URLs, canonicalization errors can occur, leading to indexing and ranking issues.

Illyes advised website owners to ensure that their URLs are properly formatted and do not contain any unnecessary double forward slashes. While this error may not directly impact SEO, it is still important to maintain clean and well-structured URLs for better user experience and to avoid potential indexing issues.

In addition to addressing the double forward slash error, Illyes also provided insights into other URL-related SEO issues. He mentioned that Google’s algorithms are capable of handling various URL formats, including those with parameters, subdomains, and different file extensions. As long as the URLs are properly formatted and follow best practices, they should not have a negative impact on a website’s search engine rankings.

Illyes also emphasized the importance of using descriptive and relevant keywords in URLs. While Google’s algorithms can understand the content of a page without relying solely on the URL, having descriptive keywords in the URL can provide additional context and improve the overall user experience.

Furthermore, Illyes mentioned that Google’s algorithms are designed to handle URL changes and redirects. If a website needs to change its URL structure or implement redirects, Google will follow the new URLs and update its index accordingly. However, it is still recommended to use proper redirects, such as 301 redirects, to ensure a smooth transition and avoid any potential loss of search engine rankings.

Overall, the presence of a double forward slash error in a URL does not have a direct impact on SEO. However, it is still important to maintain clean and well-structured URLs to avoid potential indexing issues and provide a better user experience. Website owners should ensure that their URLs are properly formatted, descriptive, and relevant to the content they represent. Additionally, any URL changes or redirects should be implemented correctly to avoid any negative impact on search engine rankings.

Original article: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-answers-if-double-slash-in-url-has-seo-impact/504364/