Google Gives Webmasters Another Duplicate Content Eliminator

Releases Parameter Handling in Webmaster Tools

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Google has added a new way for webmasters to tell it which parameters in URLS, they wish to be ignored. They have added a new feature to Google Webmaster Tools called simply, "Parameter Handling." Google provides the following explanation with the feature:

Dynamic parameters (for example, session IDs, source, or language) in your URLs can result in many different URLs all pointing to essentially the same content. For example, http://www.example.com/dresses?sid=12395923 might point to the same content as http://www.example.com/dresses. You can specify whether you want Google to ignore up to 15 specific parameters in your URL. This can result in more efficient crawling and fewer duplicate URLs, while helping to ensure that the information you need is preserved. (Note: While Google takes suggestions into account, we don’t guarantee that we’ll follow them in every case.)

The feature is yet another option webmasters can use when trying to eliminate duplicate content issues, which as we all know can be harmful to rankings, even though Google says it’s not a penalty. Either way, eliminating duplicate content when possible is likely to be in your best interest.

To use the feature, just go to Google Webmaster Tools, click on site configuration, and settings. There you will find the "parameter handling" option.

Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Roundtable notes that Yahoo has had a similar feature for quite some time, which it calls the "Dynamic URLs" feature. Ex-Googler Vanessa Fox has a very informative piece on the topic of URL parameters available here.

Google Gives Webmasters Another Duplicate Content Eliminator
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  • http://nailflora.com/about About June

    Its been awhile since i visited the Google Webmaster Tools and its something i would not have noticed if I didnt read this post. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

    Loved your Duplicate Content post.


  • http://www.platgroupng.com Nigerian SEO

    Really good read. I used Google Webmaster frequently (at least every other day) and I’m yet to notice it too

  • http://www.slohost.net sloHost

    I don’t understand if duplicate content is not a penalty why bother?! As we all know webmaster tools are not known to 90% of people designing websites, so 90% of webpages will not use this feature. As far ar ranking goes I don’t think it will reduce rankign of webpage significant.

  • http://www.spellentuin.nl Guest

    Thanks for writing this article, although there is maybe no penalty for duplicate content but why should you take the risk if there are good tools available to avoid it.

  • http://www.clearlyoptics.com Steve

    Chris, Thanks for the Info. I appreciate not having to go dig around to find this type of information.

  • http://www.websites-seo.gr chris

    Great tool. Thanks for the information.I had a look the other day but I didn’t notice anything

  • http://www.flashdesigner.com.au Web Developer

    I agree with slohost, and I feel that our website is penalized because of some other websites are scraping/duplicating our content. If you read through the google webmasters tools forums you will see that many other people encounter similar problems.

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