Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Tony McCreath on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Wednesday, April 9, 2014).

How do you use the GWMT URL Parameter settings?

How do you use the GWT URL Parameter settings.

A CMS I use is not brilliant on how it controls the bots so I`ve started to help hint Google in the right direction via the URL Parameter options in GWT.

My current plan is to just define the effect and let Googlebot decide what to do. I presume that lets the bot prioritise it`s crawl order with things like Specifies at the beginning and Sorting at the end.

What do you do??

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YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Tony McCreath: How do you use the GWT ;URL Parameter settings.

    A CMS I use is not brilliant on how it controls the bots so I've started to help hint Google in the right direction via the ;URL Parameter options in GWT.

    My current plan is to just define the effect and let Googlebot decide what to do. I presume that lets the bot prioritise it&#39;s crawl order with things like <b>Specifies</b> at the beginning and <b>Sorting</b> at the end.

    What do you do?
  • Richard Foulkes:  ;Hi Tony! To use it properly you need to know what parameter settings you don&#39;t want google to be crawling, presuming that&#39;s the purpose. I assume you want to help Google understand youur urls without following session ID&#39;s and # etc so find out what urls get crawled use  ;and make it crawl like Google bot all the duplicates will help you find and eliminate the urls you don&#39;t need then use the parameter settings to tell google to ignore stuff like /?search or /id?9898 etc If that&#39;s what you want to use it for?

    Hope that helps that&#39;s my experience with it, you might be after a different thing! Sorry if you are
  • Tony McCreath: The scenario in this case is sort and page parameters. The CMS by default blocked the sort via robots.txt but this inadvertently also blocked all page urls as they are used concurrently. e.g. page=2&amp;sort=default

    So I dropped the line in ;robots.txt and am trying to control sort in GWT.

    I suspect using the &quot;No URLs&quot; setting for sort puts me in the same boat and will block the pagination URLs. ;

    In reality I would like an option to just ignore the sort parameter. ;

    Maybe using &quot;Only URLs with value&quot; set to &quot;default&quot; would keep it clean?
  • Richard Foulkes: That could work if you&#39;re trying to tell Google not to crawl them then no indexing them might work but your CMS probs won&#39;t allow it. The best bet is to do the URL Parameters like you suggest and select the url paramater you want Google not to crawl, I can&#39;t think of another way to achieve something like this! makes it really difficult with a non-flexible cms!
  • Edwin Jonk: In this case I think the &quot;Only URL&#39;s with value x&quot; is the best setting for sort and &quot;Every URL&quot; for page. Alternative, if the CMS uses the sort=default as the landing page. That is, page=2&amp;sort=default is identical to page=2 you might want to use the &quot;No URLS&quot; instead. But you need to be every careful with the &quot;No URLS&quot;, especially when you have more then one URL parameter because every URL that contains that parameter will not be crawled. ;

    Beside the URL parameter tool I would first try to optimize for crawling on the page. For example, on sort=default&amp;page=2 I would rel canonical to page=2&amp;sort=default or vice versa (whatever you prefer). With rel canonical you tell Googlebot to crawl the other page, and, thereby you do optimize crawling. If the server logs suggest that Googlebot isn&#39;t lowering its crawling on those URL&#39;s then the URL parameter tool might be a good suggestion.
  • Tony McCreath: unfortunately no control in CMS for canonical or meta robots tags.

    It always adds the sort parameter when paging so I don&#39;t think the no urls is an option.
  • Edwin Jonk: From the expert panel in this weeks SEO Questions hangout on air on 01:33:50 into the YouTube video:

    The cuetimes listed on this page are functional while the live broadcast continues and also once Youtube has finished processing the public broadcast. Processing time varies between 6-24 hours. During this period the clip is viewable in full but the cuetimes cannot be relied on.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Wednesday, April 9, 2014).

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