Google is ending the URL Parameters tool in Search Console next month, the company confirms in an announcement today.
No action is required for current users of the tool, Google says.
This means that you no longer have to do anything to specify the function of URL parameters on your site.
The URL Parameters tool gave users the ability to specify how certain parameters affect the content of their site.
Now Google’s crawlers will learn to automatically handle URL parameters.
In other words, the URL Parameters tool is no longer needed.
Gary Illyes of Google’s Search Relations team explains that the tool was introduced over a decade ago as a solution for a “wilder” period in web history.
“When the URL Parameters tool was launched in 2009 in Search Console’s predecessor, Webmaster Tools, the Internet was a much wilder place than it is today. SessionID parameters were very common, CMSs struggled to organize settings and browsers often broke links.
Here’s an example of what the tool looked like when it was introduced in 2009:
Eventually, Google learned which settings were useful and which were useless.
Apparently only 1% of the parameter configurations currently specified in the URL Parameters tool are useful for crawling.
Given how much the value of this tool has diminished over the years, Google is officially deprecating it next month.
If you need more control over how Google handles URL parameters on your site, you can always use robots.txt rules.
Google also reminds people that hreflang can be used to specify linguistic variations of content on a site.
Source: Google Search Powerhouse Blog
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