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Does the Google indexing of URLs with filter parameters bad for SEO?

Thousands of website URLs with filter parameters indexed in Google.

     
9:37 am on Jan 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hello everyone, I have an eCommerce website, it has thousand of URLs in Google Index with parameters used for filtering products, these pages showing same title and description as parent category page, here are some examples-

www.EcommerceSite.com/Category.html?price=300000
www.EcommerceSite.com/Category.html?theme=247
www.EcommerceSite.com/Category.html?size=240

Will such urls hurt the organic rankings in Google? If yes, what is the solution?
7:31 pm on Jan 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Hi imshazia, welcome to the forums. You don't want the same content showing at different URLs and there are a few ways to deal with this problem. In your GWT account you can set parameters to ignore.

I often see them crawling parameters I have set to ignore and because they are generated by a script using the same template it would use for a page I do want indexed, I can't alter that template to have a noindex metatag in the header. If you can add noindex to the header of search results pages, that would be best. The alternative is to add Disallow: parameters to robots.txt so they do not crawl those additional URLs.
8:21 pm on Jan 24, 2015 (gmt 0)

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If yes, what is the solution?

Do the URLs also exist without the parameter at all, or do users start with a default value?

[support.google.com...]

If the parameter itself isn't always present, then go for the most comprehensive option: Ignore any URLs that contain this parameter:
For example, you can tell Google not to crawl URLs with parameters such as pricefrom and priceto


If a given parameter is always present, but its value isn't important, and/or a particular value is the default, then go for "Specified value":
This is particularly useful if your site uses the parameter value to change the order in which otherwise identical content is displayed.


The default setting is almost always "Let Google decide", but it looks as if they're not deciding correctly on your site. So you need to take action. If you click "crawl" >> "parameters" in WMT, you will see which parameters they already know about.
2:10 am on Jan 25, 2015 (gmt 0)

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welcome to WebmasterWorld, imshazia !

this might be a good case for using the link rel canonical, referring to the URL without the query string.
6:21 am on Jan 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Thank you all for the suggestions, especially Lucy24. So I think I should try to get rid of all such indexed url's (with filter parameters) either through Google WMT or robots.txt. Which method is more reliable?
7:20 am on Jan 28, 2015 (gmt 0)

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robots.txt will not prevent indexing; it will only prevent future crawling. Use WMT's Parameters settings.

A <canonical> never hurts when you've got more than one URL leading to the same content.
6:33 am on Mar 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@phranque @lucy24 Should I add canonical tag to just main category page or to all the parameter pages (there are thousands of them), I don't even know whether these dynamically generated pages physically exist or not, Do they exist (I am asking this bcos i don't have much experience in ecommerce SEO)?

My second doubt - Newly created pages should take canonical tag as they copy other tags but will the already indexed pages be also able to pick canonical tag from the parent category page?
 

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