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URLs with '&' symbol in it - Do they get indexed at all?

     

shaunm

9:03 am on Aug 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Hi all,

Do search engines crawl and index URLs with '&' symbol in it at all? If so, under what circumstances? Your help would be highly appreciated.


Thanks,

g1smd

12:31 pm on Aug 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Is this in the path or as a separator between parameters?

shaunm

12:40 pm on Aug 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@g1smd

Yes, it's between Parameters for tracking purpose.


Thanks,

lucy24

9:44 pm on Aug 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



They consider all parameters unless you have explicitly told them in WMT not to. They go by name of parameter, so there's no real difference between the initial ? and subsequent &

If it's "for tracking purposes" or anything similar like a sessionID, it is a very very good idea to tell search engines to ignore it. Otherwise you get the dreaded Duplicate Content-- euphemism for multimultimultiple pages with identical content.

shaunm

6:29 am on Aug 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@lucy24
Thanks for answering :)

unless you have explicitly told them in WMT not to

How do I do that?

They go by name of parameter

But in my URL there is no specific names but only number like 700000FBR, so do they get it from the URL? My concern is if the URL completely indexed in the SEARCH INDEX?

If it's "for tracking purposes" or anything similar like a sessionID, it is a very very good idea to tell search engines to ignore it

If I tell SEs to ignore the URL, how do I track visits to that particular campaign?

Once again, thanks a lot!


Best,

tedster

4:07 pm on Aug 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If I tell SEs to ignore the URL, how do I track visits to that particular campaign?

Why you want that campaign's URLs to show up in Google Search? Surely you only want to track the clicks from wherever that source campaign is being run, correct?

lucy24

9:31 pm on Aug 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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But in my URL there is no specific names but only number like 700000FBR, so do they get it from the URL? My concern is if the URL completely indexed in the SEARCH INDEX?

Nameless parameters? Better give an example. Using, ahem, example.com. There shouldn't be any relationship between tracking a campaign and showing non-meaningful parameters in search. If the parameter does have meaning, keep it. That's the default anyway. Have a look in Google Webmaster Tools.

Matter of fact, your public URLs shouldn't have any visible parameters. It's just clutter. But that's a matter for a different thread.

shaunm

6:46 am on Aug 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@tedster
Thanks. Yes, it's only for campaign purpose. So clicks coming from searches will add invalid data to the campaign.

By the way, do we use 'parameters' for organic searches at all?

Thanks for clarifying :)

shaunm

7:04 am on Aug 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@lucy24
Thanks for answering!

Actually there URL goes like
http://example.com/demo/index.aspx?Program=435&c=60150000000ALPK

But that's a matter for a different thread.


Can you please explain it to me?


Best,

tedster

10:51 am on Aug 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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



shaunm, After the "?" in that URL, your campaign is appending TWO parameters, connected by a "&" symbol which means what it does conventionally - "and". What your program uses those parameters for is something your tech and marketing people can tell you, but we can't.

If those parameter variations make no difference to what content your site displays, then you do need to keep them out of Google search results. For example, if http://example.com/demo/index.aspx serves the same content as http://example.com/demo/index.aspx?Program=435&c=60150000000ALPK - then the canonical URL is http://example.com/demo/index.aspx and that's the only one you want in the search results.

If they do make a difference to the content, then you have some things to work out with your tech and marketing people. Also, from that example, it looks like you are letting Google index a development server. Usually, just in itself, that is a recipe for disaster.

shaunm

11:02 am on Aug 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@Ted

Thank you so much!
 

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