Query strings and parameters are helpful information in URLs. Marketing tools commonly utilize these to improve their marketing strategies and their pages. If you want to learn more about query strings and how marketers use them, you can do so with the following video from MeasureSchool.
Since you can use these URL parameters to improve a website, you should know how they work and their implications on your page’s optimization. Remember that query strings can be both helpful and problematic for search engines.
What Does “Search & Filter URL Parameters” Mean?
Search and filter URL parameters are parameters or query strings that add information to a specific URL. Parameters are added to the end of the link right after the “?” symbol. You can also add multiple parameters and separate or organize them using the ampersand (&) character.
Specifically, these query parameters send commands to specify and sort contents on a page; they are also used to track traffic. A search or filter parameter makes it easier to look for a particular phrase or keyword within search engine results. They include what’s asked and exclude irrelevant content.
What Triggers This Issue?
Aside from the functions mentioned above, many web developers use search and filter parameters for reasons that include:
- Pagination – To identify multiple pages of search results.
- Site Search – To pass through search queries that someone used in a site search.
- Sorting and Filtering – To get a page with the user’s desired filters or sorting factors; these are usually used in large e-commerce sites.
How To Check the Issue
URLs that have query strings with apparent search parameters generally look like this: http://sample.com/search?w=album.
For filtering or sorting parameters, you’ll encounter URLs with a general format like this: http://sample.com/movies?sort=a-z or http://sample.com/list.html?filter=keyword.
Detect whether Query string contains search or filter parameters on your website and go ahead to analyse the other issues on it!
Check not only the issue but make a full audit to find out and fix your technical SEO.
Why Is This Important?
Search and filter query strings are essential for optimizing pages and helping users research website content. However, SEO reacts with them differently. This is because of two main reasons: content duplication and keyword cannibalization.
Parameters create duplicate content — most of the time, there’s no significant change to the content of a page, and it appears just like the original. Also, there’s a good chance that having similar keywords in URLs with other websites results in tight competition.
How To Fix the Issue
The best way to fix issues with search and filter query strings is to look for them, manage them, and make alternatives. You can follow this brief procedure:
- Crawl your website. You can use Google Developer tools or similar services.
- Look for pages with query strings by entering “\?”.
- Identify which strings are problematic.