What Are URL Parameters?

What Are URL Parameters?


A question mark defines a parameter in a URL.


Before the invention of platforms such as Google Search, Yahoo Search, and Live Search, users entered keywords into their browsers' address bars to find what they wanted on the Internet. For example, if someone was searching for information about kittens, he or she might type "kittens" (without quotes) into the address bar (or "URL bar"). The Web surfer would then arrive at a page that matched "kittens" anywhere on its contents. Since this method of finding information wasn't very efficient, search engines were invented to make searching easier for people all over the world.

Search engines like Google use parameters in URLs to keep track of different kinds of searches; without them, it would be difficult for search engines to disseminate information according to user specifications.


A parameter can be defined as a section of a URL that contains data about the resource being requested. It is separated from other parameters by an ampersand (&) and its value begins after an equal sign (=). For example the following URL has one parameter called "id" which shows the base64-encoded representation of the characters "QXJjaCBpcyB0aGUgYmFrZSBhIGRlZmluZWQgaW4gdGhlDU1BI" .



Parameters are sometimes referred to as "URL variables". Parameters are also sometimes called "query strings", because all the information collected is added onto the end of a URL. This data can be used for many different things, including keeping track of user preferences and what kind of device they are using. For example, if you were to make a Google search on your smartphone, suddenly certain images would appear at the top that might not have previously shown up there before. The reason behind this is that Google detected that you are now searching from a mobile phone instead of your desktop computer, so it automatically prefetched those images specifically for people doing searches with their phones.

It's important to remember that URLs don't just define which page the browser needs to go to, but they also contain information about how the page should look. For example, if you were building a website for a pet store, one of your URLs might look something like this:


This tells the browser that it needs to redirect the user to that particular URL so that they can view more information about Fawn Poodles that are male dogs.

There are several different kinds of parameters that can be used on websites today. Parameters are often used in search engines as well as social media sites, news aggregators, and other platforms where users want personalized content or recommendations based on their preferences or location data. Some of these parameters can be used to regulate search engine rankings as well as which types of ads will show up before or after the desired content. For example, "keywords" are a type of parameter that can influence how high a piece of content will rank in Google's overall ranking algorithms. On Facebook and other social media websites, parameters keep track of what types of information or recommendations users want to see from their connections. Using keywords and location data, platforms like Facebook try to find out what people like and then give them more things they're likely to enjoy. Some platforms even use parameters based on time stamps: for example, telling the website when the user last visited so that it doesn't show older posts if the user wants newer updates instead.



URL parameters are key-value pairs appended to the URL. They consist of a parameter name and a corresponding value separated by an equal sign (=), as in this example:


In this case, there are two parameters named param1 and param2 that have values first and second respectively. The URLs can get quite long with several pages containing dozens of different parameters, which is why reading them from left to right might be easier for some. This particular example would bring a user visiting the site to a certain page on the website based on their preferences defined by those parameters. It's helpful to note that many kinds of data fall under the category of URL parameters. Parameters are used to share information about things like gender, location, device type, or website preferences between pages of a site.


There are several reasons for using parameters in URLs instead of just creating static links through HTML files. The biggest reason is because they can give you the flexibility to change the content without having to update your website's stationary hyperlinks. This makes it possible for websites that have thousands of different pages indexed by search engines if they don't want to edit each individual link manually. Using parameters can also be important for larger companies with many branches who need their customers and clients to be able to navigate specific sections of one website easily no matter which branch office they are visiting. gives businesses the ability to provide useful content to visitors without having to do more work. For example, if someone were visiting the site's pages on dogs, they could see information about four specific breeds of dog - Yorkshire terrier, poodle, shih tzu, and German shepherd - by clicking on URLs that included the parameter keyword "dogbreed." It also allows for personalized content based on user preferences or geolocation data. Some websites use parameters to share deals with their users. Another important thing about parameters is that they can help search engines understand how a website is organized so that it knows which page should rank highest in its results when someone searches for something related to a specific topic.