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  • Writer's pictureBrent D. Payne

Query string contains session ID parameters

Present within the URL is a query string carrying parameters frequently recognized as session IDs.

Why is this important?

When a user arrives at a website, a unique session ID is designated to them for the length of that visit. It serves as a way to record their interactions, inclusive of the pages they browse, the products added to their shopping cart, and the forms completed.

These identifiers are conventionally stored within cookies, yet, alternatively, they can be found embedded within the URL via a parameter.

The inclusion of session parameters in crawled URLs can introduce an excessive level of content duplication, muddying the data and decreasing its utility, presenting a challenge for crawlers like Loud Interactive—and it overwhelms search engines with redundant pages, squandering precious crawling resources.

According to Google's recommendations on URL structure:

        "Evade the application of session IDs within URLs, and favor the utilization of cookies when feasible."    

What does the Optimization check?

Loud Interactive will identify any internal URL which integrates a query string containing typical session ID parameters. Users have the ability to modify the list of these parameters within the application's global settings.

Examples that trigger this Optimization

The following URL format, including a standard session ID parameter, would activate the Optimization:

How do you resolve this issue?

One should avoid using session IDs as a method for distinguishing between user sessions. Collaborate with your web development team to implement an alternative form of user tracking. Google recommends leveraging cookies:

"Avoid using session IDs in URLs. Use cookies instead, wherever possible."

If a website audit is in progress and the session IDs have not been addressed (perhaps due to the client overlooking your expert guidance), you can tailor how Loud Interactive handles session IDs for a more refined dataset.

This can be achieved by establishing dynamic URL rewrite rules aiming to purge the session ID parameter. Access the URL Exclusions in the audit settings, and within that section locate URL Rewriting. Specify the session ID parameter(s) you wish to modify, then verify its functionality with a sample URL. If the rewrite rule is properly configured, the test should exclude the parameter from the query.

After setting up the rule, a re-crawl of the site will be necessary.



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