Google to discontinue URL Parameter tool

Google has announced, that it will be discontinuing the URL parameter tool within the next month. With the help of this component of the former Google Webmaster Tools, one could tell Google, which URL parameters of the own page to ignore during crawling.

As it has become significantly easier to independently recognise “important” URL parameters, only about one percent of the given cues are useful to the crawler. Thus, the decision to discontinue this tool in about a month, until the 26th of April 2022, was made.

As so often, Google is certainly right with this decision from the perspective of a search engine: the parameter recognition works well enough in (almost) all cases. However, matters are usually quite different for the website operators. They are often affected by the (small) remainder of cases and are unable to make adjustments and changes due to fixed or old CMS, or shop systems.

Google recommends using robots.txt as an alternative, as parameters can also be blocked here, or the use of hreflang to correctly identify language variations.

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