Did you know the average website can have 4 different URLs which all link to the home page? In many cases each of the following URLs will all provide the same home page content:
If you happen to have links going to each variation of this page, you’ll end up with a 4-way split in link value! Obviously, this is going to result in lost rankings and duplicate content issues, so lets look at best way to address this.
- The first step is to decide on which URL you would like to use. In the large majority of cases this is going to be www.example.com
- Next, make sure all your internal links point to the URL you have decided above. For example, if your logo or “home” link points to “/index.html” change this to www.example.com.
- Another good idea is to add a 301 (permanent) redirect that points to the URL you would like to be indexed. Using the example above, we would setup a redirect of example.com pointing to www.example.com
- Finally, Google’s webmaster tools allow you to specify which URL you would like them to use in results. This can be found under Site configuration > Settings. A screenshot is below:
One final tip, when building links to your site, make sure to use the main URL format you would like indexed. While the 301 redirect should pass on any link juice from existing links which have been formatted incorrectly, it is best not to rely on this for the future.