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Insight This Hint is neither an issue nor an opportunity, and is brought to your attention as it may provide a useful avenue of investigation.

Query string contains search or filter parameters

URLs that contain a query string with apparent search or filter parameters (e.g. http://example.com/search?w=shoes).

Examples that trigger this Hint

This means that the URL in question contains a query string with apparent search or filter parameters.

Why is this important?

Searching and filtering are important and necessary ways to help users research website content, to help them better understand what is available and help them find what they are looking for.

These URLs would typically contain a search parameter in the query string, for example: 

https://example.com/products?search=shoes

Since 'search' URLs present the same content in a different order, they don't offer a way for search engines to discover new content, so you typically don't want them spending time crawling these URLs if there are more important unique URLs that are being neglected from a crawl perspective.

What does the Hint check?

The Hint would trigger for any URL that contain parameters that are typically used for searching/filtering.

Examples that trigger this Hint

URLs containing any of the following common search or filter parameters will trigger this Hint:

  • https://sitebulb.com/list.html?r=keyword
  • https://sitebulb.com/list.html?query=keyword
  • https://sitebulb.com/list.html?result=keyword
  • https://sitebulb.com/list.html?fids=keyword
  • https://sitebulb.com/list.html?fids=keyword
  • https://sitebulb.com/list.html?refine=keyword
  • https://sitebulb.com/list.html?search=keyword
  • https://sitebulb.com/list.html?filter=keyword
  • https://sitebulb.com/list.html?keyword=keyword
  • https://sitebulb.com/list.html?r=keyword

Why is this Hint marked 'Insight'?

This Hint is an 'Insight', which means there isn't necessarily any action that needs to be taken - the Hint is intended to alert your attention to something, rather than flagging up an issue that needs fixing.

There is nothing wrong with URLs that have search or filter parameters, and search engines may be handling them without issue.

Typically, the question you need to answer regarding these pages is: do search engines need to be crawling them?'

If there are a very high number of URLs with search or filter parameters (in comparison with the rest of the site) or if you know that search engines are having problems crawling all the URLs on the website, you may need to look into where search engine crawlers are spending a lot of their time (e.g. via log file analysis).

Further Reading

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