SEO: Slash and 301 Redirect

July 31, 2018

Even when you think you’ve got everything covered it always pays to keep a check on your Webmaster Tools. Sometimes you can gain a surprising insight into how things are going, or not.

An interesting feature in the new Google Search Console (beta) under Index coverage allows you to see, amongst other information, Excluded Pages.

A recent visit to Google Wemaster Tools threw up the fact that Jewelion.com had 22 excluded pages! Four of these were “crawled, not currently indexed” which I wasn’t too worried about as I had been updating with new pages and content. What I wasn’t prepared for was the number of “Pages with redirect”.

Here is an example: https://www.jewelion.com/tags/wordpress

On fetching that URL, the webserver first tries to retrieve a file called “services”. If that file does not exist it attempts to retrieve the default index file in the directory named “services”. Thus Webmaster Tools reports

This URL redirected to: https://www.jewelion.com/wordpress/
with a 301 Moved Permanently response.

URL means Uniform Resource Locator. For a full discussion of URL vs URI vs URN have a look at https://danielmiessler.com/study/url-uri/

In the grand scheme of things, not vastly important, it’s only one redirect. But in the world of SEO every little helps.

This particular issue was resolved by tweaking the Categories and Tags side-boxes on the blog section to add a / to the end of the URLs they generate.

Fixing the “problem” means that now it’s resolved there will be less visual chaff competing for attention on Webmaster Tools which could conceivably conceal something much more important.

Keep it clean. Keep it neat. Always end URLs which refer to a directory with a slash /.