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Improved parameter handling in WMT - now called URL Parameters

9:23 am on Jul 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator anallawalla is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Google has revamped the parameter handling interface by giving it its own link in the Site Configuration menu.

6:07 pm on July 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Looks like an improvement, with more fine-tuned controls for the webmaster who is still locked into the chaos of using parameters on their site. Some large enterprise sites should be happy about this.
11:00 pm on July 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

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I doubt it will have the effect we think it should but I like it.

: I sell widget parts of all kinds, for all makes of widgetmachines. On every page about a kind of widget part I have parameters, one for each type of widgetmachine that uses it.

I think that's a common scenario, the question is what will the settings REALLY do the indexing of the urls with parameters?

Under How Does This Parameter Affect Page Content there are several options...

- Sorts, to me this suggests 'more of the same, ignore the urls with parameters'.
- Narrows, to me this suggests more refined and relevant widget parts.
- Specifies, boy these options sure seems to be similar
- Translates, good for multi-lingual sites, index them all!
- Paginates, a different type of sorts.

As with all tools Google, I think you can do some damage to your site by using this (hence the warning in GWT) but I doubt you can convince the machine to believe you so it's another 'Won't Help but might kill you' tool? Which of the parameter options should you use in this scenario?

edit: one scenario it will be useful is when a competitor has linked to your site using some whacky url parameters and Google indexes it that way thus creating duplicate content that never really existed. This tool could set Google straight.

double edit: another use. Set up 100 parameters, link to them once and notice that Google has listed all 100 of them in GWT within minutes. Wow, that's fast.
1:02 am on July 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for posting Ash.

Have been using this functionality in GWT and it has been helpful to weed out parts of our dynamic URL that we consider unimportant to Search Engines and are merely there for our internal tracking.

Hopefully this will help enhance our experience...