URL parameters

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URL-parameters are variables that are passed to a URL and add additional information to an existing web address. These variables are usually called "query parameters" and are separated from each other by a question mark (?) and at the end by an equal sign (=).

Which URL Parameter are there?

URL-parameters are basically additional information that is linked to a basicURL are appended, often after a "?" symbol. They can be used for many reasons, from simply changing the content displayed to tracking user activity.

Here are different types of URL-parameters and what they do:

  1. Functional parameters:

    • Purpose: These parameters affect how the page works or what content is displayed.
    • Example: ?lang=en
    • Illustration: The page is displayed in German because the "lang" parameter is set to "de".
  2. Search parameters:

    • Purpose: Often used by search engines or web page search fields to know what information is being searched for.
    • Example: ?q=sneaker
    • Illustration: This shows results for "Sneaker" on an online store.
  3. Sorting and filtering parameters:

    • Purpose: These are used to display data in a certain order or to filter certain criteria.
    • Example: ?sort=price&order=asc
    • Illustration: This shows products sorted by price in ascending order.
  4. Pagination parameters:

    • Purpose: Helps navigate through multi-page content.
    • Example: ?page=2
    • Illustration: Shows the second page of a blog or product list.
  5. Tracking and analysis parameters:

    • Purpose: These parameters are used to collect data about how and from where users arrive at a website.
    • Example: ?utm_source=facebook
    • Illustration: This shows that the visitor came via a link from Facebook.
  6. Session and identification parameters:

    • Purpose: Holds information about the user or his session.
    • Example: ?sessionid=1234567890
    • Illustration: This could be used to identify a logged in user or a shopping cart session.
  7. Affiliate and referral parameters:

    • Purpose: Tracks referrals from affiliate websites and can be used to calculate commissions.
    • Example: ?ref=partnersite
    • Illustration: Shows that the visitor was referred by "partnerseite".

It is important to know that parameters can be used to make web pages dynamic and that they can greatly influence the user experience. However, they can also cause SEO problems if not managed correctly (e.g. by creating duplicate content). But with the right knowledge and management, they are super useful tools in the digital world! 🌍🔗👩‍💻

Typical use cases of the "?" URL parameter:

The "?URL-parameter is used to pass special information to the website you are visiting. It is especially useful if you have a search function on your website or if you use special forms on your website.

Examples, such as the "?URL-parameter could be used:

  1. You could use the "?URL-parameter to send a search query to a Search Engine to send. For example: "https://www.google.com/search?q=katzen"
  2. You could use the "?URL-parameters to pass special information in a form on your website. For example: "https://www.example.com/form.php?name=John&[email protected]"
  3. You could use the "?URL-parameters to redirect users to a special page on your website that responds to their input or location. For example: "https://www.example.com/products.php?category=electronics&location=Germany"
  4. You could use the "?URL-parameters to redirect users to a special version of your website customized for their location or language. For example: "https://www.example.com/index.php?lang=de"
  5. You could use the "?URL-use parameters to redirect users to a specific page on your website when they click on a link in an email or social network. For example: "https://www.example.com/welcome.php?source=email"

URL parameters and SEO

URL-parameters can be quite a predicament when it comes to SEO. If not handled properly, they can be a real headache. But don't panic! I'll explain what you should pay attention to.

  1. Duplicate content:
    • Problem: If different URLs display the same content thanks to parameters, this can be confusing for search engines. They then do not know which URL indexed should be.
    • Example: website.com/product?color=red and website.com/product?color=blue show the same product, only in different colors.
    • Solution: Use the canonical tag to show search engines which version is the "major" version.
  2. Crawl budget:
    • ProblemSearch engines have a "crawl budget". If you have many URLs with different parameters, the bots might spend a lot of time crawling them instead of important content.
    • Illustration: Imagine that a robot had to find the exit in a maze of corridors and doors.
    • Solution: Prevent browsing of unimportant parameter URLs using the robots.txt or by "Noindex" statements.
  3. Messy URLs:
    • Problem: Long and complicated URLs can be less click-friendly. A user might be confused by a messy URL be deterred.
    • Example: website.com/category?sort=price&filter=red&page=3 - looks pretty cluttered, doesn't it?
    • Solution: Consider which parameters are really necessary and whether there are cleaner ways to convey this information.
  4. Structural hierarchy:
    • Problem: Parameters can dilute the perceived structure of your website.
    • Illustration: If you are reading in a book without a clear capiWhen you read the headlines, it is difficult to understand the content.
    • Solution: Use breadcrumb navigation and clear URL structureen to maintain hierarchy and context.
  5. Missing tracking parameters:
    • Problem: Often people use URL-parameters for tracking marketing campaigns. When these parameters show up in search results, it can be problematic.
    • Example: website.com/landingpage?utm_source=facebook - should not show up in the search results!
    • Solution: Make sure that such tracking parameters are never indexed can be. Also use the tool "URL-parameter" in the Google Search Console-settings to tell Google how to handle certain parameters.

In summary: URL-Parameters aren't bad for SEO per se, but you need to be vigilant and make sure they don't inadvertently sabotage your SEO. Keep it clean, keep it clear, and keep track of it all! 🤖🔗🕸️


URL-parameters allow web developers to integrate syndication and commenting features into their website. The parameters can be used to Webmaster simplify navigation on their website and display relevant information about the current page. This allows users to find the information they need faster.


URL-parameters also have some disadvantages. Since they are dynamic, they are prone to errors and can create a poor user experience. If the parameter is set incorrectly, the page may not load properly or the entire server may crash.

Use cases

URL-parameters are useful when Webmaster need to track a specific page on their website. You can also use these parameters to track how many visitors land on a particular page. They can also be used to display certain information to users, such as news posted on the website.

10 practical use cases of URL parameters:

URL-parameters, sometimes also as query strings or URL-queries, are used to retrieve specific data in a URL transfer. They're super helpful for adding dynamics to web content or tracking user behavior.

Here are 10 examples of URL-parameters with practical illustrations:

  1. Language setting: ?lang=en
    If you are visiting a multilingual website, this parameter could ensure that you are shown the correct language version. Example: website.com/site?lang=en
  2. Search queries: ?q=sneaker
    You'll see this a lot when searching online stores or websites. Example: webshop.com/search?q=sneaker
  3. Sorting: ?sort=price-ascending
    Useful in online stores to display products in a specific order. Example: webshop.com/products?sort=price-ascending
  4. Page numbering: ?page=3
    When an item or product list has multiple pages. Example: blog.com/article?page=3
  5. Filter: ?color=red&size=40
    To filter products according to certain characteristics. Example: webshop.com/shoes?color=red&size=40
  6. Session IDs: ?sessionid=1234567890
    Temporary IDs to track individual user sessions. Example: website.com/login?sessionid=1234567890
  7. Referral: ?ref=partnersite
    To track which partner site a visitor came from. Example: myweb.com/landing?ref=partnerpage
  8. Affiliate IDs: ?affid=56789
    So that affiliates can receive their commission for referred customers. Example: store.com/offer?affid=56789
  9. Currency: ?currency=EUR
    To display prices in a specific currency. Example: webshop.com/products?currency=EUR
  10. Tracking for marketing campaigns: ?utm_source=facebook
    These are often used to control the Traffic Of various marketing campaigns to track. Example: myweb.com/new-product?utm_source=facebook

There you have it, 10 practical examples of URL-parameters! The next time you use them in a URL you now know what they probably mean. And if you have a website or online store yourself, you can consider how to use them effectively! 👨‍💻🔍🌐


URL-parameters are like the spices in a dish. In the right amount they can enhance the experience, but too much of them and it could ruin everything. They're powerful little things that can be both useful and harmful, depending on how you use them.

Usefulness: They make websites dynamic and allow customization based on user preferences, session information, or tracking needs. For example, they can ?sort=date Help a user sort blogposts by date. Or ?utm_source=newsletter could show you that a visitor came through your newsletter. That's pretty cool, isn't it?

Pitfalls: On the other hand, if not handled correctly, they can lead to a lot of SEO problems. Left unchecked, they could lead to masses of duplicate content or waste your crawl budget. Imagine a robot searching for a drop of water in a flooded basement - that's what it's like for search engine bots when they try to crawl a website with poorly managed URL-parameters.

Caution is the mother of china: The ideal handling of URL-Setting search engine parameters requires careful planning and regular monitoring. Use tools like Google Search Console to efficiently manage parameters and ensure that search engines interpret them as you intend.

At the end of the day URL-parameters are not evil. They're just another tool in your digital toolbox. But as with any tool, it's how you use it that matters. Use them wisely, keep an eye on them, and make them work for you, not against you.

So, happy URL-Parameterize! And don't forget to check every now and then if everything is running as it should! 🌐🔧🤓

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What are URL parameters? arrow icon in accordion
URL parameters are information that is appended to a URL to convey additional information. They allow developers to modify the URL of a page to create dynamic content on the page that can be customized to meet a user's specific needs.
How are URL parameters structured? arrow icon in accordion
URL parameters are appended to a URL. They consist of a key and a value separated by a question mark (?). Each parameter consists of a key followed by an equal sign (=) and a value. Multiple parameters are separated by an ampersand (
Why are URL parameters used? arrow icon in accordion
URL parameters are used to customize dynamic content on a web page that depends on the URL. They can also be used to create pages that retrieve data from a database or other data source.
How are URL parameters used? arrow icon in accordion
URL parameters are used to create dynamic content on a web page that depends on the URL. They can also be used to create pages that retrieve data from a database or other data source.
How can URL parameters be read out? arrow icon in accordion
URL parameters can be read using the server-side programming language running on the server. This can be done using techniques such as PHP, ASP, JSP or ColdFusion.
Can URL parameters be hidden? arrow icon in accordion
No. URL parameters cannot be hidden because they are appended to the URL and are therefore visible to anyone who enters the URL of a page.
How are URL parameters processed? arrow icon in accordion
URL parameters are processed by the server-side programming language running on the server. This can be done using techniques such as PHP, ASP, JSP or ColdFusion.
Are there limits to the use of URL parameters? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, there are some limits to the use of URL parameters. Since most browsers support only a limited number of parameters, the number of parameters appended to a URL should be limited.
Can URL parameters be manipulated? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, URL parameters can be manipulated. Because the URL that is sent to the server is public, users can modify the parameters to change the behavior of the site. Therefore, it is important that developers validate the URLs on their servers to ensure parameter manipulation and site security.
How to use URL parameters in a web application safely? arrow icon in accordion
To ensure the security of a web application and the manipulation of URL parameters, developers should pay attention to a few things. These include validating the URLs sent to the server, using SSL, using tokens for authentication, and limiting the parameters to a certain number.

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