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  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Google ban on ID

    I heard there is a Google ban on SEO and using URL's like http://www.company.com/product.aspx?id=1

    Is this true? And if so, how do I approach doing something similar that is SEO compatible with Google? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Object Not Found junjun's Avatar
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    Think about it... why would Google ban a url like that

    Where did you hear it?

  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Check this link out:
    http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/googlebot-keep-out/

    Apparently Googlebot has discouraged using "id" in querystrings for sometime. Weird.

    So my question is how would you do indexing any other way?

  4. #4
    Object Not Found junjun's Avatar
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    Nice link. But if you read it closely you'll see that Matt says it used to be true, but he's not sure what the status is now.

    This URL example might clear things up:
    -It's a Google page
    -It contains ID in the url string
    -The page is cached by the Google search engine

    I remember having troubles getting pages with MANY variables set in the url. Switched to SE friendly url's and never looked back.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Guru pufa's Avatar
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    As far as I know google doesn't cache pages with "random" query string values, like using session key in the url. So has long your urls are "static" you will not have problems.

    I helped developing some websites that used a random generated "security-key" for almost every request in the url and only the home page shows up in google results. Smart thing I say!!

    off-topic: Even funnier is that you could inject SQL by appending SQL statements to that query string value.

    cheers,
    rui
    Ciao, Rui...

  6. #6
    SitePoint Guru pufa's Avatar
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    I looked for webpages of the websites I metioned above and some them return more than the home page in results.
    But most links are broken because the key is not valid any more.

    cheers,
    rui
    Ciao, Rui...

  7. #7
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy
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    First, URLs are a bit of a red herring. Backlinking and age of site probably have alot more to do with search ranking than urls. Even within the site, the text you use for internal links probably has more bearing that query strings.

    In any case, I nearly solely use ?id= in a few significant public sites and they definitely get deeply spidered on a regular basis. Now, having many variables in an uber long URL might well hurt you, but if you can keep it to one or two query string parameters you should be just fine.

    Then again, I have a Mambo site running without URL rewriting and it is also getting decent search engine play.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot davejuk's Avatar
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    If you're worried about querystrings in URL's, just use URL rewriting. It's easy to implement, user friendly, and takes care of this (possible) issue in one foul swoop.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Yes I read about remapping in the Web.config file last night. Thanks for everyones help here.

  10. #10
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Google will limit the number of pages it indexes with id= in the query string. If you have a few pages with it you're fine. But if you have a lot you'll need to remove it if you want to get them all indexed.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy
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    Define alot--I definitely have had a couple of hundred indexed numerous times.

  12. #12
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    My experience says thousands. Your mileage may vary.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy
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    Gotcha. So it really is only stopping at things like, say, messageboards, rather than content sites.

  14. #14
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wwb_99
    Gotcha. So it really is only stopping at things like, say, messageboards, rather than content sites.
    Large content sites will have issues, too. I used to run a joke site that used 'id='. Removing it did wonders.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Enthusiast forumGuru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayward780
    I heard there is a Google ban on SEO and using URL's like http://www.company.com/product.aspx?id=1

    Is this true? And if so, how do I approach doing something similar that is SEO compatible with Google? Thanks.
    While it is true that it's better (probably much better) not to have it this way and to use friendly URLs instead, Google does NOT ban such URLs. I have a site with a pagerank of 4 that is in asp.net and has hundreds of pages like that.
    NumaNuma.com - Show us your funny side.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee
    Large content sites will have issues, too. I used to run a joke site that used 'id='. Removing it did wonders.
    I am currently working on a website where the 'id=' is used on almost a thousand pages, all of which have been indexed by Google fine. In fact, Google recently flagged one of the 'id=' pages as a sitelink under the relevant keywords.

  17. #17
    Object Not Found junjun's Avatar
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    The same with the Google Answers link I posted above. Google uses ID themselves and caches thousands of urls for that website alone.

  18. #18
    Object Not Found junjun's Avatar
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    Vanessa Fox was so kind to clearify this issue today in the Google Webmaster Blog. It should put an end to some of the speculation.

    Basically she's saying:
    -Don't worry about using "&id="
    -Be careful about using "a large number of parameters"
    -Use search engine friendly URL's if you can

    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogsp...uidelines.html

    Posted by Vanessa Fox

    10/25/2006 07:41:00 AM
    As the web continues to change and evolve, our algorithms change right along with it. Recently, as a result of one of those algorithmic changes, we've modified our webmaster guidelines. Previously, these stated:


    Don't use "&id=" as a parameter in your URLs, as we don't include these pages in our index.

    However, we've recently removed that technical guideline, and now index URLs that contain that parameter. So if your site uses a dynamic structure that generates it, don't worry about rewriting it -- we'll accept it just fine as is. Keep in mind, however, that dynamic URLs with a large number of parameters may be problematic for search engine crawlers in general, so rewriting dynamic URLs into user-friendly versions is always a good practice when that option is available to you. If you can, keeping the number of URL parameters to one or two may make it more likely that search engines will crawl your dynamic urls.

  19. #19
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Glad to see they've updated that page. Some of the information was so stale. Hopefully that will clear things up for the newbies who read it and take every word literally.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Well done, JunJun. I read the same post and my first reaction was to revisit this thread.


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