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How can I remove a parameter from my URL in the SERPs?

I don't want my Webtrends tracking parameters to show up

     
10:40 pm on Jun 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I often use Webtrends campaign parameters to track ads on affiliate sites and other incoming links. The link looks like www.site.com/product.asp?id=12&WT.mc_id=LinkFromAffiliate

The parameter that shows up in my Webtrends report is the WT.mc_id parameter. I've noticed that these parameters show up on the URL in the Google SERPs sometimes, and I'm worried about duplicate content issues as well as messing up my ad reporting metrics. I am trying to figure out a creative way to get Google to index the page but without the tracking parameter on the URL. It makes no difference to the content of the page, it's purely so I know that somebody clicked my ad.

Here is my thought: write a script that checks to see if the user agent is Googlebot, and if the URL contains a WT.mc_id parameter, give a 301 redirect to the current URL minus the WT.mc_id parameter. Would this work? Any other ideas?

10:47 pm on June 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes, either redirect to the same page URL but without the parameter OR get the script to detect what URL was requested and if the parameter is in the URL then serve the page but with an added <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> tag on it. Either one would work.
4:27 pm on June 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hey thanks. So which method would be better as far as making sure the incoming link counts for my page? If Google sees a link to my site on another and gets a 301 when it requests it, does it still count the link? Or if it gets a meta NOINDEX does it still count the incoming link? Thanks.
6:19 pm on June 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The 301 would help the link be counted for PR, but affiliate links generally don't count for very much PR anyway.
8:03 pm on June 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think serving up a 301 redirect to the googlebot and the regular page to regular users is a little risky since google might find this to be cloaking. Inserting the meta noindex seems like a safer alternative.
8:14 pm on June 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Hi seo_joe,
I was wondering the same thing, but thinking it might be safe since it's exactly the same content, the only difference is a tracking parameter on the URL.
9:20 pm on June 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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true, good point.
9:25 pm on June 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It is not cloaking.

Cloaking is the serving of different content depending on whether a browser or a bot asked for it.