When running your own online business, working properly with search engines is essential and integral part of your work at home. Sometimes, even though you could rank very high, you will rank poorly just because false definitions and settings! For maximizing our traffic potential, Google come to our help with a new feature in its Webmaster Tools – URL parameters.
This features is excellent for forum or blog owners and ever affiliate websites owners that their site produce dynamic URLs. For example, in affiliate websites the same page will appear as a different domain:
– Domain.com/index.html ?referrer=marketer
Although its the same page, Google will see it as two different ones and it can be considered as duplicate content! Let’s see how to avoid this kind of things with the new URL parameters feature.
Define URL Parameters
First, enter the URL parameters page. Under your site’s page in Webmaster Tools click on the Site configuration tab and then on URL parameters. Now, you will see on this page a table with the parameters that Google found on your site or you could add new parameter yourself.
On the opposite side of the parameters, you will see two buttons- Edit and Reset. Choose the parameter you want to adjust and click on Edit. Now you will be asked if the parameter is changing the page content. Choose:
No- If the parameter don’t change the content, but it creates duplicate pages, just like the example i gave before. When you choose this option Google will select one URL only and associate all others to it.
Yes- If the parameter does changing your page content. More options will now open:
How does this parameter affect page content?
Sorts- The content appearing in a different order.
Narrows- Only part of the content appearing.
Specifies- Only chosen content appearing.
Translates- The content appearing in different language.
Paginates- Indicates which page is the content.
Other- Some other thing.
Which URLs with this parameter should Googlebot crawl?
Let Googlebot decide- Google will decide how to deal with it.
Every URL- Google will crawl all of this parameter URLs.
Only URLs with value- Crawls only pages with your chosen value.
No URLs- Google will not crawl any of the parameter pages.
At the bottom of this box you can see examples of the chosen parameter pages Google has crawled.
Is It Recommendable To Use the URL parameters feature?
If you know what you are doing and what are the effects of each action you take, it is highly recommendable to use this feature for helping your website get crawled as you expect it to. If you don’t understand completely what your actions will result, seek for more information in Google URL parameters help.