What are URL Parameters? An SEO Guide to URL Parameter Handling

Shortbe    17/12/2022    1789 views

What are URL Parameters?

URL parameters are one or more query strings that can be added to a URL to categorize content on a web page.

URL parameters (also known as "query strings" or the English term "query strings") are elements added to a URL that help categorize, organize, and track information on your website.

How Do You Identify a URL Parameter?

To determine the URL parameter, we look at the part of the URL after the question mark (?). URL Parameters are created with a key and a value {key=value}, separated by an equal sign (=). Multiple parameters are then separated by an ampersand (&).

A URL parameter would look like this:

What is a URL parameter?

In which:

key1: first variable name

key2: second variable name

value1: value of the first variable

value2: value of the second variable

? : start of query string

=: assign value to variable

&: separate variables

SEO issues with URL parameters

SEO issues with URL parameters can be challenging to navigate. URL parameters are used to identify specific pieces of information in a website’s directory, but they can also cause a search engine to index multiple versions of the same page, leading to duplicate content and loss of ranking power.

Additionally, the use of too many parameters can make URLs long and difficult for users to remember, causing them to abandon the site altogether. To avoid these problems, it is important for webmasters to use keyword-rich URLs that are easily remembered and indexed by search engines. It is also important to limit the use of parameters so that search engine spiders don't have difficulty crawling the pages.

Finally, websites should have a canonical tag in place that tells search engines which version of the page should be indexed and ranked. With proper SEO strategies in place, websites can ensure their URLs are optimized for maximum visibility and performance.

When Should You Use Query Parameters?

The URL parameter has many different uses, helping to classify web pages rich in content based on the structure of the query string (query string).

Common uses of URL parameters include:

– Sort pages in the library

- Categorize products on e-commerce sites

– Search results on the website's internal search engine

– UTM Tracking to track campaigns: Campaign Name, Campaign Source, Campaign Medium

Here are a few examples of URL parameters (highlighted):

https://shortbe.com/kb/search/?q=troubleshooting

https://shortbe.com/organic/overview/?searchType=domain&q=reddit.com

https://shortbe.com/mens-clothing/shirt-and-tees?ref=pagination&page=2

In some cases, when multiple URLs have different parameters, the content will be repeated. Here's an example of 3 URLs on the same site showing the same content:

How URL parameters work

According to Google, there are two types of parameters URL Parameters:

URL Parameter modified content (active): parameter that will modify the content displayed on the page

For example, take the user directly to a specific product named 'xyz'

https://shortbe.com?productid=xyz

URL Tracking (passive) parameter for advanced tracking: the parameter will track information like: what source of traffic, what campaign or ad group name, etc. - but will not change the content on the page.

For example, to track traffic from your newsletter

https://shortbe.com/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email

For example, collect campaign data by customizing the URL

https://shortbe.com/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=tweet&utm_campaign=summer-sale

By using the UTM Builder feature on Shortbe.com, you can easily customize the tracking parameters.

How to use URL Parameter tool to shorten links on Shortbe.com

The Campaign URL Shortener from Shortbe.com feature helps to optimize the generated url with the parameters containing the generated parameters before shortening the link. With the advantage of simple, easy to use, quickly create professional shortened links.

Read more: What is a URL Shortener?