Fragments (Pound Signs #) In URLs Are Not Duplicate URLs

Sep 25, 2009 • 8:58 am | comments (1) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization
 

A Google Webmaster Help thread asked if he should include fragments (i.e. the # signs found in some URLs) in the new parameter handling feature in Google Webmaster Tools. Again, parameter handling in Google Webmaster Tools gives you a way to tell Google to ignore certain URL parameters, to help them with removing duplicate URLs (duplicate content).

The thing with URL fragments, they are not seen as duplicate because Google simply strips out the stuff after the pound sign anyway. In fact, many sites are using fragments to do custom tracking, in order not to have a problem with the search engine indexing or people linking to URLs that might be considered duplicate, such as question marks in the URL.

Googler, JohnMu confirmed this, which is obvious to most our readers, but here is what John said:

We generally ignore the "fragments" (as in http://domain.com/path#fragment) when crawling, indexing and ranking since this is generally just something that is handled on the client side. There are some cases where we're experimenting with showing them in the snippet (as in Colin's example), to help users to find parts of a page quicker, so if you have large pages, that might be something to consider. You do not need to (& cannot) mention these fragments in Webmaster Tools.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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Comments:

Grumpus

09/25/2009 01:32 pm

I've been wanting to run some experiments on this for a while - but it using it with named anchors. In the same way that an outbound link has some factors weighed in with the text surrounding the actual link text, I've wonder if and when the search engines will start to look at named anchor links like these to actually see what part of the page the link is actually going to. It could be very useful for search engines to do this... Now it's just a matter of me trying to devise some sort of test. Won't that be fun! lol

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