Google’s John Mueller cleared up a misconception about the URL parameter tool in Search Console, saying it doesn’t actually remove URLs.
This topic came up in a recent Google Webmaster Central hangout on YouTube when a question was asked about whether the URL parameter tool still works.
Google has not yet ported the URL parameter tool from the classic version of Search Console to the new version.
Despite not being available in the new Search Console, the URL parameter tool is still effective. You just have to revert back and forth from the old Search Console in order to use it.
However, a follow-up question would indicate the webmaster had the wrong expectations when it comes to what the tool is meant to do.
URL Parameter Tool Does Not Remove URLs
In their question to Mueller, the site owner mentioned they added a parameter to be dropped but the change was not immediately visible in search results.
That’s not what the tool is intended to do, Mueller says, it’s designed to refine the crawling of URLs.
You can use the tool to add a parameter you no longer want to be crawled, and over time those URLs would eventually drop out of search results because Google stopped crawling them.
It’s not a case where you add a parameter to the tool and all of a sudden a bunch of URLs with that parameter are removed from Google’s index.
So the URL parameter tool still works, as long as it’s being used as intended.
Hear the full question and answer below, starting at the 46:44 mark.
“The URL parameter handling tool would not remove URLs from the search results. It’s really only to refine the crawling of URLs.
So it’s not something where we would say you add this parameter to that tool and then suddenly all those pages disappear from search results.
It’s more that, over time, we would crawl those URLs less and over time they would drop out from the search results but it wouldn’t be any immediate change there.”