Google Sunsetting URL Parameters Tool Next Month


Google is discontinuing the URL Parameters tool in Search Console next month, the company confirms in an announcement today.

No action is required for current users of the device, Google says.

This means that you no longer need to do anything to specify the function of URL parameters on your site.

The URL Parameter Tool gave people the ability to specify how certain parameters affect their site’s content.

Now, Google’s crawlers will learn how to deal with URL parameters automatically.

In other words, there is no need for the URL parameter tool anymore.

Gary Ilyus of Google’s search relations team explains that the tool was introduced a decade ago as a solution to “wild” times in the history of the web.

“When the URL Parameters tool was launched in 2009 in Webmaster Tools, the predecessor of Search Console, the Internet was a much wilder place than it is today. Session ID parameters were too common, CMSs had trouble organizing parameters, and Browsers often broke links.”

Here’s an example of what the device looked like when it was introduced in 2009:

Google Sunset URL Parameters Tool Next MonthScreenshot: developers.google.com/search/blog/, March 2022.

Eventually, Google figured out which parameters are useful and which ones serve no purpose.

Apparently only 1% of the parameter configurations currently specified in the URL Parameters tool are useful for crawling.

Considering how much the device has dropped in value over the years, Google is officially removing it next month.

If you need more control over how Google handles URL parameters on your site, you can always use robots.txt rules.

Google also reminds people that hreflang can be used to specify language variations of a site’s content.


Source, google search central blog

Featured Image: Youstock/Shutterstock





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