It’s something you likely don’t think about often, or even really notice, but Google says to be consistent with whether or not you put a slash at the end of your URLs.
You can learn more about this from the blog post over at Search Engine Roundtable.
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We talk on here a lot about making things on your website easy for Google to understand, and if you mix and match your trailing slashes, that can potentially confuse them.
When you’re talking about your home page, it’s not a big deal. Some include the trailing slash, some don’t, but Google understands that they’re the same and they set an implied canonical on it. With most content management systems, such as WordPress, it’s done automatically anyhow.
The problem can be with your internal pages. If you have a page as slash-about, but sometimes link to slash-about-slash, those are technically separate pages. From a technical perspective, slash-about would mean that “about” is a file, whereas slash-about-slash would mean that “about” is a directory.
A user asked Google about this very question, saying: “If a site has thousands of pages with two versions, with slash and without slash, what is the best solution? 301 redirect or canonical tag?”
Google’s John Mueller replied with: “The best solution is to be consistent and only use one version of a URL. Link to that version, redirect to it, use it in sitemaps, use it for rel-canonical, etc.”
This likely isn’t a problem for most of you. Your content management system should take care of it correctly, but it’s something to keep an eye on. Little things like this, if handled incorrectly, can take a huge toll on your search rankings.