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.htaccess help to avoid index page duplicates

 5:57 pm on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi All,

We're a vendor on Clickbank, and this past week, I can't find our index page in google anymore, although inner pages all rank fine as before. I have narrowed this down to possibly having multiple same pages of our index page due to affiliate URLs through Clickbank. So I'm trying to fix this through htaccess rewrite.

What I found when I do a site:example.com is that I find in the results, instead of having our index page, google had our index page with an affiliate's hop ID attached to the end, and I think google might be confused with all the different ending hop ID's of different affiliates and this also leads to duplication issues.

For example, if our site URL was:


There would be many affiliate URLs that look like this:

http://www.example.com/?hop=#*$!XX (where #*$!xx is the affiliate's ID)

And http://www.example.com/?hop=#*$!XX this is the type of URL we found that replaced our index page in google's records (LOL) so I think there's some confusion and possibly a duplicate penalty. I totally overlooked this...

Now I'm trying to fix this through htaccess to do a rewrite that would change all those types of URLS (http://www.example.com/?hop=#*$!XX) to redirect to just my base URL (http://www.mysite.com) without the ending ?hop=#*$!xx)

But I do not have any htaccess knowledge, and was hoping could someone please help me out and let me know what the 2 or 3 lines of code should be to achieve this?

Thanks so much in advance!

[edited by: tedster at 6:15 pm (utc) on Feb 20, 2012]
[edit reason] switch to example.com [/edit]



 8:03 pm on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Before you start redirecting:

Have you looked at the URL parameters area under Site Configuration in GWT? You can tell them to ignore certain parameters, so all versions of a page will collapse into one.


 8:22 pm on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

ok, I looked in GWT under URL parameters, and changed the "HOP" parameter to:

"No: Doesn't affect page content (ex: tracks usage)"

So now the Crawl is set to "Representative URL". There were a few hundred of them. I assume now that I've changed this setting in GWT, that google would/should only crawl/index our original index page, correct?

So can someone help me with the htaccess code to now redirect all the ending "?hop=#*$!" to just root domain? Thanks!


 8:29 pm on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

With the GWT settings in place you don't really need the redirect.


 8:35 pm on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ok I see thanks.

How about for other SE's like BING tho? I assume all these ending ?hop=#*$! could also cause confusion in Bing as well as it did in Google for us?

I was just browsing through our Bing WMT but can't seem to find a similar type of option setting for Bing to tell them to Ignore the "?HOP" parameter.

Would it be good practice to just redirect all those to our base domain anyways?


 8:36 pm on Feb 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

why does WebmasterWorld change all the "X X X" to "# * $!"? strange.


 4:40 am on Feb 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Not half as strange as the fact that "D*****T****" is a dirty word :)

Bing has a parameter-tweaking function that is similar to google's. Don't know about the others.

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