Follow Leigh in this video tutorial and learn how to master the Parameters section within Google’s Webmaster Tools. A full video transcript has been provided below for your reference.

What the URL Parameters Section is All About

“URL Parameters” is an advanced feature designed to allow you to help Google crawl your site more efficiently by indicating how it should handle parameters within your URLs.

Parameters are extensions to website URLs which are usually present to assist with page or content navigation.

From Google’s perspective, URL Parameters can cause duplicate content (Which is BAD!). It’s bad because it can cause problems when Google crawls your site and may effect your web pages being indexed efficiently.

Example: the following urls all display the same page but each contains a different parameter:

Wine Glasses

Wine Glasses

Wine Glasses

Wine Glasses

By displaying the same page on four individual urls like this, you run the risk of displaying duplicate content.

OK, let’s take a look:

Once logged into WMT click on Crawl, then URL Parameters.

You may have a message indicating you have issues/ or not e.g. “Currently Googlebot isn’t experiencing problems with coverage of your site, so you don’t need to configure URL parameters. ” – you don’t need to take any further action!

On the other hand, if you are being shown a different message continue through this tutorial.

Note: please bear in mind that this is an advanced feature and improper action could result in pages not being indexed.

You’ll see a table containing several columns – the first contains parameters which Google has found whilst crawling your site. The second shows how many URLs are monitored or effected by the parameter.

Let’s take the parameter p… there are almost 9,500 URLs containing this parameter – potentially that’s a lot of duplicate content.

On this website ( you can see the parameter within the URL. In this case, the purpose of P is to indicate which page the user wished to view (pagination).

The same page can be viewed without the parameter. Therefore there are at least 2 URLs which navigate to the same page – DUPLICATE CONTENT.

So, what can we do here…

Well, if we edit the parameter we have the option of informing Google what this parameter does.

The default option is telling Google it “doesn’t affect the page content”. For example, select this option if the parameter is a session ID.

If you click on “Show example URLs”, you’ll see some instances of the parameter on your site…

Here we can see the page woks-482l.html has several instances of the P parameter. On this site the user can paginate across several pages of Woks!

If your page content IS being affected by the parameter, as above, then we select YES from the drop down box. The following options are available:

Sorts (For example, displays product listings sorted by name, by brand, or by price (high, low, etc.)

Narrows (Displays a subset of content specified by the parameter. For example, filters for only shoes in size 9.)

Specifies (Specifies what the page is about (for example, the subject, audience, item number, etc)).

Translates (Displays content in the language (USING GOOGLE ‘S EXAMPLE English or Klingon) that’s specified by the parameter).

Paginates (Displays a specific page of a long article or list of items).


In this instance we’ll select “Paginates”.

Now we have some further options:
1. Let Googlebot decide
Select this option if you’re unsure of the parameter’s behavior, or if the behavior changes for different parts of the site. Googlebot will analyze your site to determine how best to handle the parameter.

2. Every URL
Googlebot will use the value of this parameter to determine if a URL is unique. For example, will be considered an entirely different URL from

3. Only URLs with value
Googlebot will crawl only those URLs where the value of this parameter matches this specified value. URLs with a different parameter value won’t be crawled. Here you can specify the value to match.

4. No URLs
Googlebot won’t crawl any URLs containing this parameter. This is useful if your site uses many parameters to filter content. For example, telling Googlebot not to crawl URLs with less significant parameters such as “price from” and “price to” which can prevent the unnecessary crawling of content already available from a page without those parameters.

OKAY, hope this was all clear and helped explain what the Google WMT URL parameter feature is for.

Best of luck!