How will Google interpret links to URLs ending with a campaign tag?

How will Google interpret links to URLs ending with a campaign tag? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

Today’s question is one that got passed on from Per-Erik Skramstad, who asked: “Will Google interpret links to URLs ending with a campaign tag, like ?hl=en, as a link to or to a completely different page? What about the SEO effect of inbound links?” The crawl team, the team that really does the core indexing, they do a great job of canonicalizing, which is picking from different URLs and combining them together in the right way. So if you’re using standard URL endings, URL parameter tags, tracking tags, stuff like that, oftentimes we’ll be able to detect that those are the same page, and they should really be combined in some way. If that’s not the case, we like to talk about the KISS rule– the Keep It Simple, Stupid rule. If you don’t trust a search engine to get it right, you do have a lot of different options. You can always, for example, use rel=”canonical” whenever you land on a particular page. If it’s a tracking URL and you don’t want it in the index at all, in theory you could record that that particular landing page was hit on the server, and then do a 301 to whatever the final page is going to be. And we also provide a free tool in Google’s Webmaster console, at, that basically lets you say, these URL parameters matter, and these URL parameters don’t matter. And so when you see a URL with these particular set of parameters, you can strip these parameters out, and you’ll still get the same content. If you do use something nonstandard, or you see it being an issue, maybe you see the URL showing up twice in Google search results, that is something where I’d recommend checking out our URL parameter tool, or considering using rel=”canonical”, or a 301 redirect. Hope that helps.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


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