SEO Question: Do Pages With Query Strings Rank As Well As Without Query Strings?
My site generates dynamic pages depending on the way visitors navigate through the site. This means that the same page of content can have multiple query strings in it’s URL. I suspect this is affecting my Google rankings, but i don’t know what to do about it to fix it?
Many web platforms use dynamic pages to present content. The downside is that the dynamic URL creation process adds a query string to the end of your URL, creating a problem for search engines which interpret all of those pages as potential duplicate content.
Duplicate content can result in a penalty, so you want to avoid any duplication so that Google and the other major search engines don’t have to make a decision as to which of your pages should be in their listings.
The best solution to the problem is canonicalisation which is a standardised redirection process, whereby all variation versions of each page are redirected via canonicalisation to your preferred page version. Moz.com cover canonicalisation best here.
As are core rule, your website should present one version of each content page, canonicalised using the rel=canonical tag and 301 redirects.
Additionally you should set your site to use search engine friendly URLs in preference to random strings of numbers, symbols and text. A page URL that follows your page title is preferable to using a numbered string.