Google: URL Parameters Don’t Make Links Unnatural

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Google’s John Mueller had to say that links that have UTM parameters, or tracking parameter, added on to the end of the URL, does not make them unnatural links. I often wonder where these myths come from, but he had to explain that those links aren’t by default considered unnatural links.

I mean, they can be unnatural links but it depends on how the link was added. Google defines unnatural links as “creating links that weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our guidelines.”

Adding a URL parameter to a link, like for this post, adding ?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=blast&utm_id=55 to the end of a URL doesn’t make it unnatural. Many people use those UTM parameters to better track clicks and campaigns and sometimes they end up on websites. Google will often ignore that stuff after the ?utm_source= but either way, it does not matter.

John Mueller from Google had to say on Twitter “They’re just URL parameters. The unnatural part comes from them being unnatural links or not. You don’t make them natural by removing the parameters, and you don’t make them unnatural by adding parameters.”

Got it?

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Note: This was pre-written and scheduled to be posted today, I am currently offline for Rosh Hashanah.

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