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External Backlinks with Tracking Code from DC Storm

How does Google re-act to backlinks which have tracking code in the URL?



9:06 am on May 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi All,

Just a quick question, if you have backlinks on 3rd party websites that include a query string for tracking purposes, how does this affect the backlink, and how would you ensure that the link still passes weight?

Lets say I own www.danielfoley.co.uk and on it I have a few pages say www.danielfoley.co.uk/page1

If I have a backlink from www.theirwebsite.com/news to www.danielfoley.co.uk/page1?=tp=12345&_$id1394 so that we can track where the user came from,

How do I make sure I get all the link weight transfered to /page1, or will Google not pass anything or not recognise the link?

Any advice on this? I hear placing a canonical tag in the destination page would work? so e.g if I put a canonical tag in /page1 referring to /page1 would that help?



9:38 am on May 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

While these likes will pass some benefit to your site it won't be as focussed as you want it to be and you will also be duplicating content without any real purpose.

I'm not super techy and I've not encountered this problem directly before but I would probably look into one of the following.

Go to Google Webmaster Tools/Site configuration/settings and then find the "parameter handling" tab.

Adding the tracking code as an anchor on the page rather than as part of the URL. So it would be /page1#tracking.

301 all pages containing "?=tp=" to the canonical version of the page.

Apply a canonical tag.

edit: used 3 exes as an example of tracking code. This was rewritten to "#*$!" which got confusing


9:49 am on May 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

The canonical tag can help you.

You can also tell Google to ignore certain parameters when found in a URL.

If /page1 resolves to a PHP script, you could have a few lines at the beginning that do your "recognise the visitor" bit (and maybe set a cookie) and then issues a 301 redirect to the canonical URL.


10:41 am on May 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ok so lets run through this,

I run www.danielfoley.co.uk, and I have a selection of property pages, www.danielfoley.co.uk/myproperty for example, I have 100 backlinks, and would like to track the performance of click through's using DCStorm and telephone number tracking, so I add 2 sets of variables to my URL's, now, the 100 websites linking link to www.danielfoley.co.uk/myproperty?tp=01995 245134&_$ja=tsid:13477

So, do I place a canonical tag in www.danielfoley.co.uk/myproperty or do I 301 re-direct the ?tp= URL to /myproperty?

Bare in mind that there can be more then 1 url from 1 website, therfore implementing re-directs maybe more difficult, is a canonical tag alone enough?

In webmaster tools, the following parameters are ignored:
_$ja and tp, is that enough of the variable to ignore the whole variable itself?

Thanks :)


12:01 am on May 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Do make sure there are no spaces in any part of the query string or filepath parts of the URL.

A redirect to redirect all non-canonical URL versions could be as short as 2 or 4 lines of code.

The canonical tag goes on all copies of the page. It informs search engines what the real URL for the content should be.

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