How to avoid disrupting organic search rankings and other SEO concerns with Webtrends parameters


Webtrends Analytics 8.x
Webtrends Analytics 9.x


Hard coding Webtrends parameters into the page URL changes organic search rankings. What are other implications?


Be aware that any suggested course of action that changes the way external sites link to a customer’s site – for example, appending WT.mc_id to affiliate URLs – may affect the customer?s organic search rating. We need to notify them when this is a potential issue. As with any other recommendation we make to customers, be aware of the potential consequences of what you are suggesting and make sure all concerned parties are advised. In cases like this, we want to make sure the potential impact on organic search rankings has been verified as acceptable to their business users (and not just the Webtrends administrator). To avoid any impact on organic search rankings, set parameters through meta tags on landing pages, or dynamically insert the WT parameters via JavaScript.

Adding query parameters to links navigating within the same site, such as WT.svc, has a much smaller impact.

Using query string to pass data on a site is very bad practice from an SEO point of view, as Google?s bots will view the URLs as a separate page. For example, the following two URLs would be seen as two separate pages in Google?s Index even though they are actually the same page:

Examples of duplicate content pages in Google’s index:
1. www.toyota.com.au/prius?WT.ac=RetailPriusPromo
2. www.toyota.com.au/prius

Implications & duplicate content issues:

1. Confusing Experience for Bots: 2 unique URLS housing the same content.
2. Split Page Rankings (Each page could have different volumes of inbound links)
3. Poor URL hygiene
4. It is poor form if your site has multiple URLs all housing the same content.

More Information

If a customer would like details of the SEO impact of any change they are considering to their web site, they should work with their SEO consultant to evaluate the potential change. More information is also available at:

General SEO information:

Specific information about link popularity:

Google’s treatment of query parameters on internal links: