Google is sunsetting the URL Parameters tool in Search Console next month, the company confirms in an announcement today.
There’s no action required for current users of the tool, Google states.
That means you no longer need to do anything to specify the function of URL parameters on your site.
The URL Parameters tool gave people the ability to specify how certain parameters affect the content on their site.
Now, Google’s crawlers will learn how to deal with URL parameters automatically.
In other words, there’s no need for the URL Parameters tool anymore.
Gary Illyes of Google’s Search Relations team explains the tool was introduced over a decade ago as a solution for a “wilder” time in the web’s history.
“When the URL Parameters tool 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, CMSes had trouble organizing parameters, 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 parameters are useful and which ones served no purpose.
Apparently only 1% of the parameter configurations currently specified in the URL Parameters tool are useful for crawling.
Given how far the value of this tool has declined over the years, Google is officially deprecating it next month.
Should you require 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 language variations of a site’s content.
Source: Google Search Central Blog
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