Parameters are additional query strings which follow the main URL for a page, typically contained after a question mark. Multiple parameters can be used within a single URL, which can impact a website in several ways, including causing duplicate content and crawling issues. Our Hangout Notes feature common problems seen with parameter handling, with recommendations from Google.

Parameter Handling Improves Crawl Efficiency

February 10, 2017 Source

Parameter handling prevents URLs being crawled so is better than canonical tags for crawl efficiency.

Google Learns Which URL Parameters Return Irrelevant Pages

January 27, 2017 Source

Google learns which parameters are returning irrelevant pages partly based on canonicalised URLs.

The ‘Parameter Doesn’t Change Content’ Setting is Similar to Canonical

January 27, 2017 Source

The ‘Parameter Doesn’t Change Content’ setting is similar to canonical as it will aggregate signals to the cleaned URL.

Excessive URL Parameters and Rewrites Can Causing Problems

October 7, 2016 Source

Google can have problems crawling your site if your URL structure has an excessive number of URL parameters and rewrites which redirect to a few pages.

Increased Crawl Rates Can Be Caused by Authority, Server Performance or Duplicate Content

July 8, 2016 Source

If you experience a temporarily high crawl rate, it might be caused because of an increase in authority, or Google thinks the server can handle an increased load, or they might be finding a lot of duplicate content caused by things like URL parameters.

Robots.txt Overrides Parameter Settings

May 17, 2016 Source

URL Parameter settings in Search Console are a hint for Google, and they will validate them periodically. The Robots.txt disallow overrides the parameter removal, so it’s better to use the parameter tool to consolidate duplicate pages instead of disallow.

Use GL Parameter to See Google SERPs for a Different Country

January 29, 2016 Source

If you want to see SERPs from a different geo location then change the ���gl�۪ parameter in the URL to the country code.

Googlebot Can Be Redirected to Canonical URLs

December 1, 2015 Source

John says that althought it’s technically cloaking, it’s actually OK to redirect Googlebot from URLs with tracking parameters to canonical URLs, but allow users not to be redirected, so they can be tracked in analytics.

URLs with Hashbangs Won’t be Indexed

October 16, 2015 Source

URLs with hashbangs won’t be indexed, so if they are required to produce unique pages, you’ll need to migrate to a traditional URL structure without the hashbang.

Related Topics

HTTPS Site Architecture URL Architecture Subdomains Canonical Domain Facets TLDs Site/Page Quality