Google’s URL Parameters tool is going away

Google announced that the URL parameters tool is going away next month, citing the tool has little or low value. Google will be sunsetting this feature on April 26, 2022 and you will no longer be able to access the tool after that date.

What is the URL parameter tool. The URL parameter tool launched in 2009 as a parameter handling tool, a way to communicate to Google to ignore specific URLs or combinations of URL parameters. Two years later, in 2011, Google upgraded to tool to handle many more parameter scenarios.

The tool essentially let you block Google from indexing URLs on your site.

You are currently able to access the tool over here until April 26th.

Why is it going away. Google said it has become “much better at guessing which parameters are useful on a site and which are —plainly put— useless.” Google added that “only about 1% of the parameter configurations currently specified in the URL Parameters tool are useful for crawling.” “Due to the low value of the tool both for Google and Search Console users, we’re deprecating the URL Parameters tool in 1 month,” Google said.

What do I do going forward. Google said there is nothing specific to do. Google said “going forward you don’t need to do anything to specify the function of URL parameters on your site, Google’s crawlers will learn how to deal with URL parameters automatically.” You can always use robots.txt rules, Google said “or use hreflang to specify language variations of content,” Google added. Plus, Google said your CMS and platforms handle building quality URLs these days.

Why we care. If you are currently using the URL parameter tool, you will want to see what rules you have set up and watch to see how things change with crawling, indexing and ranking after April 26th. You will want to make sure to annotate your reports to document this April 26th date as well. You can always implement changes to your CMS and/or robots.txt to try to better control crawling and indexing of specific URL parameters on your site, if things do not go smoothly for you after this tool is removed.

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About The Author

BarrySchwartz lg

Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry’s personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here.

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