SEO Fix for session IDs using Google Webmaster Tools
Google has just added a function in Google Webmaster Tools that let’s you flag parameters you wish Google to ignore when crawling your site.
These can include things like session IDs, additional parameters and tracking ids. This is great way of handling the problem rather than forcing the webmaster to implement expensive work-around’s to be found in Google which has historically been the case.
Traditionally, sites that use session IDs as a way of tracking users or e-commerce, will have a disadvantage in search engine optimisation for a few reasons:
- Duplicate content
- Dispersion of page credit
- Potential for bot to get tied up on these additional pages and not crawl other important pages as often
On the tracking front, and speaking from personal experience, flagging removal of tracking IDs is a big boost to data integrity. A recent campaign I worked on saw several blog and news site pick up a unique tracking URL to refer back to the clients site, a tracking ID that was meant to be unique for an email campaign. Google then decided to pick this URL up as it crawled through the sites and it ranked it well in search. The result was most of the search visitors appeared to the analytics system that they came from the email campaign and the collected data were significantly impacted.
Great news and makes life a lot easier for web masters and marketers stuck with this problem.