The cost of poor parameter practice

The cost of poor parameter practice

28.Oct.2021

Imagine you have a website which has been indexed by search engines, and this site holds thousands of pages.

Now imagine your web designer decides to change the internal linking on each page to use dynamic, querystring-style URLs.

Each product page now links to an ID number:

http://www.example.com/productpage.php?id=1234  

             Clicking on any of these links takes the user to a specific product page, where all the content is based around that one specific article... But there's a problem here - what if someone copies or bookmarks this URL?

If they don't notice it is solid text, and not at all clickable (or copy-able), then they might go to the trouble of copying that long string of numbers.

Only then when they try to use it will they find out it no longer works...

           You have just cause thousands of people around the world to have to delete their bookmarks, send emails explaining why they can't get in touch with you, or probably most annoyingly - go through the hassle of clicking on 'Back' and having to come back your site via a different method.

This is obviously bad for business!

Now imagine what would happen if one day Google decided that every single page on your site was actually duplicate content, because all these URLs are exactly the same? You could lose ALL search rankings for years! It has happened many times before, and since Google is always growing - it will continue to happen again.

So what can you do about this?

You can simply stop using parameter-based URLs - stick with clean, old fashioned links which link directly to the page that needs to be displayed. If one day your site needs an extra 'page' (e.g. http://www.example.com/productnamehere.html) then just create a new file and upload it via FTP or by using your hosting control panel's file manager... It really is as simple as that!

Please share this information with anyone who might benefit from knowing these practices are bad for business! This applies if you have a static website, or any kind of eCommerce application where parameter-based URLs are used...

It is something very simple, but if not dealt with it can cause long term problems that can be difficult to resolve. For a quick SEO boost take a look at our backlinks services . Also check out our seo blog for more interesting articles.

As always we welcome your feedback! Please leave a comment below and tell us what you think about URL parameter practice in web design, eCommerce development and website optimization in general. Do you have any examples of when bad URL parameters have caused problems? Maybe even how to solve the problem they created? We would love to hear from you so please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below...

Andrew Smith co-editor  Internet Blog Company  www.internetblogcompany.com

Internet Blog Company is a UK based web design company that specializes in providing affordable website design, flash website design, seo services and business listing for small business in the United Kingdom. The company provides professional affordable websites to help growing businesses get online with an effective eCommerce solution. IBC can provide social media marketing solutions by creating engaging content marketing to increase your brand awareness in the search engines. This will help create more leads to your business helping you grow your revenue generating potential! Please don't hesitate to get in touch with us if you would like more information on any of the topics discussed above… We are here to help! You can contact us via email at [email protected] or feel free to call us on 0800 689 4870. Please visit our contact page for more contact options.

If you have a small business or you are thinking of starting a new website I would highly recommend Internet Blog Company as your web design provider. We have been designing great looking websites since 2003 and we always welcome new clients so please get in touch today... You can visit our services page on the website to find out more about what we do, alternatively if you just want some information then simply call us or leave a message via one of the methods on the contact us section of the website and we will happily help! Andrew - Internet Blog Company co-editor

mirror mirror  on the wall, which has better SEO parameters?

         

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Google can recognise when every single page on a website is 'duplicated' by using different parameters in the URL - even if it's just one character difference! This is known as 'URL Parameters'... A good example would be:  http://www.example1.com/page.aspx?sku=ABC123&categoryid=-1337-456&customerid=-9876-5432&otherparam=-987694321

Can you spot the differences? The page will show exactly the same content on every single URL - but to search engines that's different pages and this can really add up! Many people still think that Google has a 'page limit' in place... But this is not correct. Do you know how many pages your website should have? If you don't have an effective internal link structure on your website then it's likely that your site won't perform as well as you would expect. If you would like more information on how to improve the link structure on your website then please check out this article: Internal Link Structure No Repetition Google likes it when web pages have a natural link structure. You can always add in control words etc to help Google, but these should be kept to a minimum and never used on every single page. So what should you do if your URL parameters are causing this? Well, you can either simply remove them... Or you could use the 'rel=canonical' tag to tell Google which URL is 'the one'. You can find out more about how to avoid duplicate content issues here: http://www.internetblogcompany.com/2014/02/12/poor-practice-with-url-parameters/

5 PRINT "Hello, world!" 10 GOTO 5 Running a website is not cheap - especially if you don't have the time or skills to make the most of it. If you are looking for some affordable web design services then please feel free to drop us an email at [email protected] or pick up the phone on 0800 689 4870 and speak to one of our friendly team members. We are always happy to help where possible!

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