So you want to set up a chat bot on your website. A great idea! But what if your content team adds some new stories every day/week/hour? And what if your website talks about hundreds of different products? Your bot needs to be updated every day/week/hour with new content and chat links. It can be a real maintenance nightmare!
You could try to use some software tricks, but the most efficient way to handle this is by minimizing your dynamic URL's.
What are dynamic URL's?
Dynamic parameters are hidden parts of a link that contain unique information about the user and what action has been taken.
They can be found in links like:
This link defines a product with an ID of 123, which belongs to affiliate ID 456.
All dynamic parameters you see in the link above will be unique for each product, and this is how they know what to show the users when they click on a certain link.
In order to get more traffic from search engines your links should contain as few dynamic elements as possible, because these make it difficult for Google to index your site properly.
This is what Google says about dynamic parameters in their Webmaster Guidelines
To create a link that does not give away too much information to search engines, you can use the rel=canonical tag. That way if for example your article contains multiple links with parameters, all of them point to one canonical URL without any additional info attached.
You can also use your website's navigation or robots.txt file to avoid crawling dynamic URLs that contain unique IDs. This makes them much harder for search engines to figure out what the page is about, and thus they will be worth less in terms of SEO value. If you don't want Google to crawl pages containing dynamic parameters, you should include the following in your robots.txt:
With this method they can still crawl and index everything, but it removes their ability to see what the dynamic URL's contain (eg: they won't know that page A is about product 123).
If done correctly you can make sure all of your unique links are cleverly hidden behind a rel=canonical tag so that no unnecessary data is leaked to search engines. They won't even know if it's a story or a product!
So, how do you make sure your dynamic URLs don't leak any unnecessary information?
The easiest way is to use this simple trick called 'url_for()'. It creates unique URLs for different pages in your website. This makes it possible to use dynamic parameters in your URL's without them leaking information about the product/story behind the link.
This method is really common, it's used by Wordpress, Shopify and many other content management systems. It adds a few additional parameters to all links you are generating, which take care of handling the dynamic stuff.
In the example above you can see that they all point to 'http://my-website.com/story?id=5'. This is a nice and clean looking url, containing only basic information about the story. It's understandable for both humans and search engines alike!
Screw dynamic URL's – make your life easier with url_for()!
The way you should build your content links depends on the CMS you are using, but there is one thing they all have in common. The URL's containing dynamic parameters will be changed to clean ones like the example above.
You can use this method to get rid of any dynamic parameters that could cause trouble for your SEO. Simply find the url_for() function in your CMS and set it up to point towards your canonical URL, like this:
This will ensure that all links generated using this method are easy for search engines to understand while still providing some nice content specific information on each page.
And that's about all there is to know about URL's containing dynamic parameters. I've tried to make this article as clear and SEO focused as possible, in order to help you keep your website in Google's good graces!
If you have any more questions or want an explanation on something specific, don't hesitate to contact me through my company website - Bernard Media . A proper outreach campaign can do wonders for your business, so you'd be wise to give it a try!
This is how you make money online. I hope this helps you get results. Good luck!
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