Session ID query parameters: A quick list

Ian Lurie Jan 11 2011

Session ID make your URLs look like this:;lawe0r9823049812-30481349745087
They’re bad:

  • They’re ugly, and discourage clicks.
  • They prevent your server from caching pages properly, because they cause thousands of duplicate pages.
  • They kill you in organic search, because search engines find ’em and then can’t figure out which page is real. And because people link to them, splitting your link ‘votes’. Read my posts on canonicalization to learn more about that.

And, they’re just tacky. So, here’s a list of session ID variables and chunks of session ID variables you should look for. Cut it, paste it, use it to search client sites and root out the evils of session IDs everywhere:

This list is case-insensitive. Also, it has some vars in it that, while I found them used as session ids, they may sometimes be used for other stuff, too. An example would be ‘id’, which could be page id, product id, or session id. And, any mayhem you wreak with this list is your problem, not mine. Use it to make sites work better, ok?

How we built this list

Portent has a crawler we’ve used for years to track down issues like duplicate content. I went through a huge list of duplicate content issues we’d found, took a look, and then used those to build the list.
If you have some I haven’t included, send ’em on! I’ll add them right away.
Join the SID Elimination Front!!!

Other stuff

tags : conversation marketing


  1. ron


    Google’s Webmaster tools can help with this issue.
    It gives you the option to configure parameterssission id’s you want the crawler to ignore, i think it even does it aoutomatocally if you
    dont do it menually

  2. Yes Ron, both options are true, it will identify them for you and allow you to specify. Bing’s WMT are quite similar I believe.

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