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Clean Url With Many Parameters


Best Answer Ron Carnell , 25 December 2013 - 07:24 AM

The equals sign has no special significance to search engines. They don't care if you use an equals sign or a dash or any other legal character to separate parameter name from parameter value. Your problem, I think, is that you've been following some questionable advice right from the get-go.

 

What DOES matter is the order of the parameters. Any time the order changes you have a different "page," even if the content is the same. Ergo, duplicate content. But it sounds as if you already know that, as if you've already accounted for it. If, as you say, you'll enforce "strict order of the filter parameters" you should be good to go with your original use of the equals sign.

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10 replies to this topic

#1 kromol

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 09:58 AM

Hi everyone,
 
I have a website with a search page and this page has a filter with many different parameters. We used query string to create URL with filters, it looks like:
 
domain.com/category/search?filter1=val1&filter2=val2...
 
There are many filters and their count depends on selected category. The way we organized URL is bad for SEO and we have some recommendations how to improve SEO. The main recomendation is to change URL structure. We need to have next URL:
 
domain.com/category/search/val1/val2/val3..
 
val1, val2,... are the values of appropriate filters.
The problem is that filters are not mandatory and user can choose for example only first and third filter, or any other combination. So if we will create URL according to SEO recomendation we won't be able to determine which real filter was chosen.
An idea is to add some key to each filter value, so URL will look something like this:
 
domain.com/category/search/f1_val1/f2_val2/...
 
In such case we will know which filters were selected and we will be able return correct data.
But the question is next: does this little change affect SEO optimization or not? In other words does this change improve SEO for our site in comparision to current URL structure (because it is only partial implementation of SEO recommendation about URL structure)?
Thanks

Edited by chrishirst, 12 December 2013 - 10:18 AM.


#2 chrishirst

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 10:20 AM

Search engines can't really submit search forms.



#3 kromol

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 10:53 AM

Does it mean that it doesn't matter for SEO how URL structure looks?



#4 qwerty

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 12:34 PM

Not unless you're exposing the URLs generated by the submission of the search form to search engines, maybe by linking to search result pages or listing them on a sitemap. Do you want these pages indexed, or would their indexation create a lot of duplicate or near-duplicate content?



#5 kromol

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Posted 12 December 2013 - 01:58 PM

I want these pages indexed and I added them to sitemap (not all, but only with some main filters). Their indexation will not create duplicate content. To avoid duplicate content we will have strict order of filter parameters, so it doesn't matter in what order user choose some filters - result URL always will be the same.
 
But to be able to determine which filters are missing I need to add some key to filter value (SEO recommendation that I have does not include those keys, only filter values). So will those keys affect the search engines in any way?


#6 Michael Martinez

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 09:28 AM

If the key is denoted by a special identifier in the generated URL string you can tell both Bing and Google (through the Webmaster dashboards they offer) to ignore that parameter.

Example:

&key=[some very long string]

You would tell them to ignore "key=".

#7 kromol

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 09:17 AM

Guys, thanks a lot for the answers and sorry for the late response.

 

I will try to rephrase my question, because I still do not have full understanding. So the main question is next:

 

Imagine that I have for example some search with only three parameters: year, price and volume. The result page of search can have two different format of URL:

  1. domain.com/category/search?pr=100&yr=2010$vl=10
  2. domain.com/category/search/pr-100/yr-200/vl-10

Is there any difference between these two URLs from SEO perspective?

 

Thanks



#8 Jill

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 10:39 AM

Yes there is a difference. You'll want to look up and use rel=canonical so that you don't have a duplicate content nightmare for the search engines.



#9 kromol

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 01:05 PM

I want to use only one type of URL routing. Which is better: the first one or the second one?



#10 Ron Carnell

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 07:24 AM   Best Answer

The equals sign has no special significance to search engines. They don't care if you use an equals sign or a dash or any other legal character to separate parameter name from parameter value. Your problem, I think, is that you've been following some questionable advice right from the get-go.

 

What DOES matter is the order of the parameters. Any time the order changes you have a different "page," even if the content is the same. Ergo, duplicate content. But it sounds as if you already know that, as if you've already accounted for it. If, as you say, you'll enforce "strict order of the filter parameters" you should be good to go with your original use of the equals sign.


Edited by Ron Carnell, 25 December 2013 - 07:25 AM.


#11 kromol

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Posted 25 December 2013 - 01:31 PM

Thanks everyone for explanation. This topic is resolved.






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