Ready to bet you noticed that URL links are different in length and, let’s say, readability. Some of them are short and include only a couple of words or several symbols. . At the same time, the others are long and consist of multiple mixed incomprehensible combinations. Why so, and how to fix it?
What Does “URL multiple parameters” Mean?
In brief, it means that a specific URL contains a query string with several (usually more than three) parameters. In its turn, a URL parameter is a way to pass information about a click through its URL.
The structure of the query is the following: it starts with a question mark (?) while multiple query parameters are separated by ampersands (“&”). Here’s an example: https://example.com/page?parameter1=a¶meter2=b¶meter3=c¶meter4=d
For more information about URLs and their structure, take a look at this brief video tutorial by Eye on Tech.
What triggers this issue?
There are internal URLs in the web resource that contain multiple ampersands (“&”) and, consequently, multiple parameters.
How to check if there are multiple parameters in the URL?
To check this issue, you need to take a look at the URL itself. The query starts with a question mark (?). Then, each parameter is divided by an ampersand (“&”). Count these elements, and you’ll have the answer.
Why is this important?
First, these elements aim at helping people filter and organize content or track information on their websites. For example, parameters assist in tracking traffic sources with the help of UTM metrics.
Second, parameters directly impact site crawling and indexing by Google. Multiple parameters may cause negative issues during site scanning since there can be some meaningless pages for a search engine to check. As a result, multiple parameters may lead to a waste of the crawling budget.
Last but not least, multiple parameters may also cause duplicated content. This negatively impacts both indexings by the system and the behavior of site visitors.
How to fix the issue?
- First of all, try to change the structure of URLs, so they contain no parameters at all, or at least not more than two. This is usually done on the backend side.
- For both indexed and not indexed pages, there can be a solution by adding a special “noindex” tag like <meta name=”robots” content=”noindex” /> or X-Robots-Tag: noindex.
- If the page is not indexed yet, try prohibiting the URL from scanning in robots.txt file.
- Finally, you can solve the issue by setting a canonical page, meaning the one with no parameters.
Detect URLs with more than 3 parameters
Crawl the website to collect all pages where URL has more than three parameters