Google search console is one of the best and free SEO optimization tools you can use in your blog. If you want to make your blog search engine friendly, then free search is the best way to get started.
You can submit a number of things like Google sitemap submit to it, find 404 pages, check site performance and the biggest thing that many users have already shared, how Google Search console has saved their website.
Today, we will learn about URL handling in the webmaster tool.
What are URL Parameters?
There are several ways to explain the URL Parameter, but I will tell by wordpress route and I give a small example that your post permalink will look something like this-
But when you have traffic from referral sites like Feedburner, Facebook, Twitter etc. you will see some extra lines in your permalink.
Like – domain.com/permalink?utm_source=twitter and so on. It really helps the analytic and keeps track of where the traffic is coming from your site.
For an e-commerce site, they offer many sorting options like – Sort = relevancy, sort = ascending, pagination and so on. They are also considered on URL parameters. Generally, it all depends on your website’s configuration and architecture, which link will be displayed. It is good for usability and user experience, but such content from search engine point of view does not have any value and there is no need to index such links as well. In fact, your clean permalink should be a link that index should be indexed.
There are also .htaccess codes which automatically redirect these links to single permalink. But sometimes Google indexes these links with URL Parameters. Which is not only low-quality content but also creates a duplicate content issue.
Handle URL Parameters from Search Console
Parameter Handling is a useful option for indexing and deindexing of pages in the Google webmaster tool that is added due to parameters like nombile, utm_source, replytocom, preview etc. Some of them even create duplicate content issues such as the replytocom issue in WordPress. In the methods to fix the replytocom issue, I also mentioned about the parameter handling.
Some time ago Google had updated the parameter handling feature in the search console tool and added more setting options, which gave the user more control. Some time ago, there was an option inside the parameter handling settings, but now you can also access it from Crawl> URL Parameters.
Here I am also giving some screenshot of updated Parameter Handling option-
When you click on edit, you also see more options and you are clearly seen how changing the settings makes the difference in search engine visibility. For example- I am making some changes in replytocom and you can see here
Recently the sample of the crawled article will help you to know which link is indexing this parameter, and you can also change this setting. It is very useful to avoid duplication issues by nonindex to different parameteres in e-commerce websites.
In addition to this, allowing multiple Parameters to be indexed and allowing crawl by Google will reduce your site’s crawl rate and this will cost more bandwidth than your hosting. So my recommendation would be that you see which Parameter has been found by Google from your site and it is configured in confiiguration> URL Parameter for nonindex so that it can not play any role in search.
Simultaneously, you should check this setting page at least once a month, whenever you audit your site, and if Google finds a new Parameter link, then configure it nonindex.
I believe this updated URL parameter handling tool will help Webmaster easily eliminate certain serious issues like replytocom.
Here is a detailed video from the Google team that will help you to understand the URL parameter and you will know how it works, how your site affects crawling and indexing.
If you are new to Google webmaster and you have never used it before, then I would advise you to read it.
Surely look at this updated URL parameter in the Google webmaster tool You can access it from site configuration> URL Parameters. Do share your view and tell us if you have made any changes after checking this URL parameter tool?