Query string contains sort parameters

This means that the URL in question contains a query string with apparent sort parameters.

Why is this important?

Filtering and sorting are an important and necessary way 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 sort parameter in the query string, for example: 

https://example.com/blue-shoes?sort=avgrating

Since 'sort' 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 sorting.

Examples that trigger this Hint

URLs containing any of the following common sort parameters will trigger this Hint:

  • https://sitebulb.com/list.html?sby=column
  • https://sitebulb.com/list.html?sort=column
  • https://sitebulb.com/list.html?sortby=column
  • https://sitebulb.com/list.html?orderby=column
  • https://sitebulb.com/list.html?rank=column
  • https://sitebulb.com/list.html?rank-by=column
  • https://sitebulb.com/list.html?option=column

Why is this Hint marked 'Advisory'?

In Sitebulb, this Hint is Advisory, as it does not represent a clear issue. There is nothing wrong with URLs that have sort 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 sort 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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