Eliminate unnecessary URL parameters

Eliminate unnecessary URL parameters


In the early days of the web, every page had a unique address. This unique address was often made up from several sections that represented where on the site you were and what content you wanted to access.

For example:


This kind of URL eventually became unacceptable as not only is it very long but it doesn't look like an 'ordinary' web page at all (i.e., there is no text in the address bar). Google's webmaster guidelines suggest that URLs should be kept as short as possible and should read naturally; this means that each directory or subcategory should have its own separate URL (e.g., http://www.mysite.com/category1/page-a and http://www.mysite.com/category2/page-b).

This kind of structure also allows for easy navigation by search engines, which can easily see all the different categories on your site when they are each in their own directory (e.g., http://www.mysite.com/category1). URL parameters are an acceptable way to accomplish this separation without cluttering up the URLs with lots of directories or subcategories (e.g., http://www.mysite.com/?type=1&id=3 employs query string variables instead of folders or numbers).

However, once you start using URL parameters extensively throughout the site, it becomes very difficult to remove or combine parameters. It is important to know when you can use them and when you should not, as overusing them may hurt your visibility in search engines.

URL Parameters are completely acceptable if:

-They enhance the user experience (e.g., they allow users to bookmark certain parts of the site for later viewing)

-The information is used only once, or at most twice (e.g., session IDs that are used by the web server)

- The parameter performs a function that cannot be coded any other way (e.g., tracking hits from internal searches on a site).

It's not OK to use URL parameters extensively throughout your website if:

-They do not provide any useful information to users (e.g., the use of 'featured' and 'recommended' filters on a site that reviews books)

-They provide no benefit to your user experience or SEO efforts, but simply make changing content difficult (e.g., using a parameter instead of a session ID).

-They are not compatible with current search engine guidelines.

Only use URL parameters when they serve a specific purpose that cannot be replicated in any other way. By eliminating unnecessary URLs throughout your site, you will make navigation easier for both users and search engines, which can only improve the performance of your website.

URL parameter Info: Many webmasters may have encountered problems when using URL parameters extensively on their sites. If you are one of them, instead of changing all the URLs to directories or subcategories with descriptive names, try using query strings with appropriate variables (e.g., ?type=1&id=3). This is more SEO-friendly than creating new folders or renaming existing ones the entire website just because these parameters were either misused or not used at all.


Eliminating unnecessary URL parameters does not hurt the quality, but instead creates a natural looking link structure to make it easy for both users and search engines to navigate the site. A website whose URLs are over-optimized may trigger spam filters in Google which can result in lower rankings.

URL Parameters Info: Using session IDs (instead of URL variables) within deep subfolders is becoming an accepted practice; however, these should be replaced by cookie IDs everywhere else throughout the site. While this makes it easier for search engines to follow your links, it also changes how users bookmark your pages so you may need to notify them of this change. By keeping URLs simple and relevant, you will attract more traffic and improve the visibility of your website.

As a webmaster, you may encounter many issues while using URL parameters extensively throughout your site. Make sure you only use them when it enhances the user experience without adding too much clutter to your URLs or offer search engines no benefit. Eliminating unnecessary URL parameters is beneficial for both users and search engines; however, make sure they do not obstruct other efforts (e.g., social media sharing) that can help promote your content online.

URL Parameters Info: If you think about it, URL parameters are like super advanced variables that allow you to pass information around in almost any way imaginable (e.g., http://www.mysite.com/page-a?var1=val1&var2=var2). There are some instances where using them can be beneficial to your SEO efforts, but make sure you know the difference between what is acceptable and what is overkill.


URL Parameters Info: URL parameters are very useful when used correctly; however, make sure you don't overdo it because this may trigger spam filters in Google that could ultimately lead to reduced rankings on your site. Use URL parameters only when they can enhance the user experience without muddying up the URLs with too many variables or offering no benefit for both users and search engines alike.