Question about Trust flow, forward slashes, and redirecting

by lavitz 8 replies
Hey guys, I'm new to the whole SEO game and I need to get some issues cleared up.

I haven't been paying any attention at all to the links that I have building to my site until recently. I stumbled upon the fact that my domain, which does not include a forward slash has a relatively low Trust Flow in comparison to the same URL plus the forward slash. It is needless to say that I assumed that there wouldn't be a difference and that the Trust Flow would all pile up onto the main domain regardless of whether backlinks were to include a forward slash or not.

Do correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't this pickle that I find myself in ultimately weaken the potential strength of my articles? If all backlinks were to the domain, wouldn't that make my articles rank higher in google search results?

If so, would you folks recommend a 301 redirect from my domain to the page without a forward slash? Or vice versa? Or would none of that make a difference at all?

I hope the above makes sense. Thanks for any help in advance. =)
#search engine optimization #flow #forward #question #redirecting #slashes #trust
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    First of all, Trust Flow has nothing to do with your rankings. Google is not looking at TF.

    Second, it is a good idea to 301 all non-preferred site variations to the preferred version.

    For example,

    amazon.com
    amazon.com/
    www. amazon.com/

    all end up on www. amazon.com.
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  • Profile picture of the author lavitz
    Sure it isn't.

    I do know that google has their own algorithms, but isn't trust flow one of the key indicators to how google ranks a site?

    Though, thanks for the clarifications Mike.

    Also, is redirecting a non-preferred site variation to a preferred one punishable? I've come across articles talking about google punishing 301 redirects.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by lavitz View Post

      Also, is redirecting a non-preferred site variation to a preferred one punishable? I've come across articles talking about google punishing 301 redirects.

      It is not punishable. It is an accepted best practice.

      You might want to re-read the articles you read. I'm sure they were about using 301 redirects to game the search rankings, not what you are talking about doing.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEO-Dave
    Google doesn't use trust flow, that's a made up metric by MajesticSEO to try to guess what a combination of metrics might result in.

    So any trust flow data you have does not mean Google uses it or anything related to it. For example Google does a pretty good job of determining preferred URL and will combine link benefit to one URL.

    Here's a simple test for you. Check the Google index to see if the various versions of your home page URLs are indexed in Google, if they are your link benefit is being split and you'll need either canonical URLs or better yet 301 redirects.

    Check with this Google search:

    Code:
    site:example.com
    If you only find one home page URL indexed you are almost certainly OK. If you find example.com and example.com/index.html and they are the same page, you have an issue (It's rare Google makes this indexing mistake).

    Also see Google's official word on this Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: To slash or not to slash

    Note this regarding home page trailing slash:

    Rest assured that for your root URL specifically, http://example.com is equivalent to http://example.com/ and can’t be redirected even if you’re Chuck Norris.
    Basically for the home page it's not an issue, Google assumes example.com and example.com/ are the same pages (they are). For folders like example.com/folder and example.com/folder/ they could be different webpages, but if they have the same content Google will almost certainly combine the results (your links will count to one SERP).

    In other words you probably don't have a problem, though you can make Google's job easier with 301 redirects, canonical URLs and consistent linking to the preferred version.

    In case you didn't read between the lines, ignore trust flow, if it's splitting example.com and example.com/ it's far from accurate (Google won't index them separately).

    David
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  • Profile picture of the author expmrb
    First of Trust Flow is a metrics of MajesticSEO so what it tells does not effect the Google SERP's. The only thing that I have seen to effect the SERP's a little bit (not much though) is having an extension of 'index.php' or 'index.html' like this "http://abcd.com/index.php"
    The forward slashes does not have any effect. So, if you are puzzled up then just use canonical tags or 301 redirects. In this case canonical tags are more preferable.
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  • Profile picture of the author lavitz
    Thanks Dave, that was pretty useful. I have no doubts that google is indexing only one variation of my homepage now.

    However, I stumbled upon this just now:

    Multiple Duplicate Links Means Diluted Link Juice: If you build links pointing to a page that has multiple URLs, the passing link juice is distributed among them. If all the pages are consolidated into one, the link juice will also be consolidated which could increase the search rankings of the web page.
    Duplicate Content: 7 Ways to Get Rid of It | WooRank Blog

    Is this accurate even for homepages?
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    • Profile picture of the author SEO-Dave
      If you have multiple versions of a page AND (this bit is important) Google has indexed 2 or more versions of those URLs (see Google site: search), yes you might be splitting your link benefit and SERPs.

      And that's when 301 redirects and canonical URLs come into play.

      If Google hasn't indexed other versions of a webpage, it's not an issue.

      For example I use WordPress which does a good job of adding canonical URLs, so that's sorted. I also add some rules to my roots .htaccess file so the www version of my site automatically 301 redirects to the non-www version. If you go to the SEO tutorial link in my sig it's the non-www version, add www. to the URL and it automatically 301 redirects to the non-www version. that will happen with any URL on the domain including new ones.

      You can also set under Google's Webmaster Tools a preferred version (www or non-www).

      For index.html, index.php etc... check if your server automatically redirects them to home etc... if it doesn't consider fixing it. If you go to stallion-theme.co.uk/index.html or stallion-theme.co.uk/index.php etc... it automatically redirects to stallion-theme.co.uk/

      That's a server settings, look up DirectoryIndex for details. This assumes you don't have different content on index.asp, index.html etc... (you can have different content at example.com/, example.com/index.html etc... if you want and Google will index and rank it) but do have say links to example.com/index.html and it doesn't already redirect to example.com/

      David
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  • Profile picture of the author lavitz
    Thanks a lot guys. Both of you have been a great help.
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