Google Will Read the URL String Contained After the Query Parameter
If you are using a ? query parameter, Google will read the remaining URL string and it is not something which blocks crawling or indexing. However, they will drop anything following a # parameter.
Be Consistent in Trailing Slash Usage Across a Site
John recommends being as consistent as possible with the use of the trailing slash in the links across a site.
There Are No SEO Benefits For Translated URLs
As long as Google is able to see unique URLs for each language, it is not a requirement for each word within the URL to be translated. While it can be positive for user experience, it doesn’t provide any SEO benefits.
Focus on Internal Linking Rather Than URL Structure For Passing Signals
John recommends focusing more on how pages are connected within a website through site architecture and internal linking and how easy it is for Google to find and pass signals through them, rather than worrying about the URL structure.
Use Query Parameters For Onsite Search
John recommends using a separate query parameter for on-site search as it’s a lot easier for Google to recognise as something that might vary. If there are additional parameters also added to the URL e.g. for pagination or filtering, utilising a query parameter makes it easier for Google to learn what the individual path parts are for as well as helping to optimize the crawling of these pages.
Keywords in URLs are a Very Small Ranking Signal
The words featured in a URL are such a small ranking signal that John wouldn’t recommend reshaping a website to accommodate more descriptive URLs as it is unlikely this would significantly improve performance in search.
Either Encoded or Written Out URLs Are Fine for Google
There isn’t a preference for encoded or written out URLs as Google is able to handle these both fine. John recommends using one style to ensure consistency for tracking changes.
Don’t Use URLs That Change on the Fly
If URLs change on the fly to include session IDs, for example, this will cause Google to spend more resources on crawling duplicate content. This will also cause confusion around choosing the right canonical page.
Use One URL for All Seasonal Content
John recommends using one URL to host all of your seasonal content, regardless of topic. For example, have Thanksgiving content on a page then replace that with Christmas content. This will accumulate link equity, making the page more important to Google.