Using UTM in URLs

liorenda

Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
20
I have a faint memory of Google (or one of it's employees), telling not to use UTM codes in GMB URLs.
I tried to track it down, but couldn't find any trace of it.
Is my memory playing games with me?
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
2,602
We switch it over when we get new clients and I have never seen a ranking drop or a traffic drop as a result. IMO I would always trust your own experience & testing over something said by someone on Twitter :cool:

If it did have some negative impact, you could easily switch it back. I have never heard of one but will see if others chime in.
 

Brian Barwig

Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2014
Messages
68
I highly advise using UTM codes to more efficiently tracK website traffic. I use them for all of my clients and have yet to see a dropoff in rankings or any other negative effect from using them. They are effective and worthwhile.
 

Rich Owings

Local Search Expert
Joined
Apr 21, 2014
Messages
295
@liorenda As John Mueller's reply said, "Use the rel=canonical & other forms of canonicalization if you're worried about that."
 

Yan Gilbert

Administrator
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
190
He didn't answer the question with a yes/no response. Only 'if you're worried'....
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,726
I would recommend reading the full conversation on Twitter. He is purposefully vague which raises more questions than answers really.
 

Dan Foland

SEO Director at Postali
Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
83
Mueller and other Googler's are often super vague and purposefully misleading. However like others I've been using UTM codes on my GMB listings for years and have never seen any sort of impact one way or another.

Mueller isn't wrong though that it's beneficial to have a canonical tag in place to help prevent any url separation issues.
 

Tim Colling

Moderator
Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
995
If you read the original question in that twitter thread, it asks about whether "link juice" is passed in URLs that have UTM codes, but it doesn't really mention GMB links per se.

Are you counting on getting "link juice" passed to your website from third party links that are pointed at your GMB listing?
 

liorenda

Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
20
If you read the original question in that twitter thread, it asks about whether "link juice" is passed in URLs that have UTM codes, but it doesn't really mention GMB links per se.

Are you counting on getting "link juice" passed to your website from third party links that are pointed at your GMB listing?
Not at all. I was just wondering whether it's fine to use UTMs for my GMB listings. After all, if Google does treat those URLs as individual ones, then there's no consistency with my other citations.
 

Tim Colling

Moderator
Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
995
Not at all. I was just wondering whether it's fine to use UTMs for my GMB listings. After all, if Google does treat those URLs as individual ones, then there's no consistency with my other citations
Ah, I see. All of the experts that I follow say that that's not a problem.
 

Tiggerito

Member
Joined
May 5, 2016
Messages
18
You can add utm parameters using # instead of ?. Placing them in the hash means they are not part of the indexed URL.

I frequently tag URLs like this: /page-name#Campaign-Name. I have JavaScript that replaces #Campaign-Name with the utm parameters, lets Analytics do its thing, then removes the parameters.

A bonus from this is that GSC performance reports include the full URL of the GMB listings. Including the ? or # parameters. So you can filter GSC reports to only show data on GMB listings in search. GMB search results are the only ones that can include a #.

By default Analytics does not see the # values, but you can make a mod so that they are included. Not an issue if you are using utm parameters.
 

Pam Weber

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
16
We have one GMB listing whose UTM sporadically disappear. We do them all the same way and we have over 100.

Can you comment on any best practices for using UTM parameters in GMB listings or, on what specifically may be causing GMB to strip the parameters from this listing, or on a technique that can be used to keep the parameters in place?
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
2,602
We have one GMB listing whose UTM sporadically disappear. We do them all the same way and we have over 100.
Are you using a 3rd party like Yext or Moz Local for that one listing? I've seen lots of these cases and usually it's because there is a 3rd party hooked up to GMB that doesn't have the UTM codes and it automatically updates the listing. Take a look at who is authorized to make changes on that one listing (the other managers/owners) as well and ask them.
 

Pam Weber

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
16
We are using Moz Local on that particular account. Really appreciate the insights about overwriting them. We are already looking into that. Thank you!
 

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