URL parameters, commonly referred to as “query strings,” allow extra information to be structured inside a URL. URL parameters are added to the end of the address bar after the question mark (‘?’) and may append additional parameters by separating them with the ampersand (‘&’).
Although they are often used for traffic monitoring, query parameters are mainly used to define and sort information on a web page.
For instance, consider the following Example of a URL that makes use of parameters:
A URL parameter is the URL’s text after a question mark (? ). Parameters in a URL consist of a “key” and a “value,” which are divided by an equal sign (=). Ampersands are used to separate groups of parameters (&).
The name of the first variable serves as Key1
Second variable name as Key2
Value 1 : the value of the first attribute
Value2 : the value of the second attribute
? : the query string starts
= : a symbol for separating numbers
& : parameter divider
How Do URL Parameters Function?
There are two categories of URL parameters, according to Google Developers:
Parameters in use for altering content
Variables that affect how the page is displayed
For Example, suppose you wanted to lead a person to the ‘xyz’ product page.
Passive tracking settings for advanced tracking
Factors that transmit data but don’t alter the page’s content, such as the referring network, the ad campaign, and so on.
To monitor the results of your newsletter
https://www.domain.com/?utm source=newsletter&utm medium=email
Although URL parameters may seem straightforward, there are proper and improper methods to implement them.
Purposes Of URL parameters?
We can use Parameters in URLs for a variety of purposes. Those that are most often seen include:
Classifying and Refining
Large e-commerce sites and other sites with comparable functionality often use parameters that enable visitors to construct a page dynamically with the required sorting or filtering.
for example, /dresses?sort=a-z, /womens-shoes?color=red, or /hotels/seattle-wa?rating=5-star
Web site search
They utilize a parameter to transmit a user’s query from a site search.
For example, /search?q=christmas
Number of Pages
Multiple searched-for pages may be uniquely identified using parameters.
For instance: /blog/all-articles?page=3
You can send information about a product through parameters.
for Example, /product?sku=12345
You can set a variety of language choices through parameters.
for example, /home?lang=fr
Advertising campaigns and button clicks – each of the given two might have parameters to enable tracking of traffic from those sources.
for example, /landingpage?utm campaign=fbid holidaypromo
Why are URL parameters significant for SEO?
When it comes to SEO, there are a few things to keep in mind when using URL parameters, mainly because doing so might result in many sites with identical content. It may lead to a few typical SEO issues:
We don’t want Google and other search engines to penalize us for having a bunch of URLs that go to the same thing but vary only in the parameters they use, to identify it as duplicate content.
Page ranking signals being diluted
As a result of the use of parameters in the URL, the value of the inbound links to your site may be distributed between numerous versions of the same page. These pages may eventually hurt your site’s search engine results.
Spending money on a crawl space that never gets used
Regarding crawl budgets, duplicate material is an issue as well. Crawlers may not have enough time or availability to scan unique and useful sites if they have to spend time on many duplicate URLs.
Much of the information generated by monitoring software like Google Analytics is URL-specific. Your reports will display many versions of the same page with various names.
When operating a large website with many pages, items, or a marketing plan that depends on accurate monitoring of different campaign types, URL parameters are an invaluable tool. So, how can we guarantee that using URL parameters won’t negatively impact search engine optimization?
Best Optimization techniques for URL parameters
Use the canonical tag to direct traffic away from URLs that include campaign parameters or provide duplicate content.
It would help if you considered the search value of different page variants for URLs where the content varies based on parameters filter/sort, pagination, and languages.
In General Terms
You should leave a parameterized page accessible for crawlers to crawl and index if it has a search value apart from the main version of the page. Metadata and on-page material should be fine-tuned and targeted appropriately to set them apart from the core URL.
Utilize hreflang annotations to connect several language/country variants of a URL. It is especially useful for URLs that employ parameters for localization.
You should use a canonical tag if a parameterized page is useful to visitors but adds nothing to the search value of the main page. Don’t filter these pages out using robots.txt.
Keep in mind that the Google Search Console is a tool that can control your site’s parameters and how they are understood and crawled by Google, which is especially useful for sites that employ a lot of them.
For more information, contact Ahbiv digital Agency; we are here to help !!