[thelist] PHP - Making All Links Unique (even to same page)

Drew Shiel ashiel at sportsinteraction.com
Wed Jan 16 02:41:08 CST 2008

Hi Mark

I can see the value to the marketing folks in knowing exactly which link a
site visitor moves through. However, if each link goes to a different URL,
there's a more than fair chance that the search engines will identify them
as different pages. 

This means that the authority of any one page is diluted, since the search
engines see it as X different pages, where X is your number of internal
links to it. Also, it's likely that these "multiple pages" will be given a
duplicate content penalty, resulting in only one of them, chosen very nearly
at random, showing up in the search engines.

Further, assuming traffic comes in from search engines and bookmarks, those
will still carry the identification of the originating page that they were
indexed or bookmarked from. And people placing links to your site may well
include those as well.

All that said, we do something similar with internal banners, but I'd be
very hesitant to apply it to all links.


-----Original Message-----
From: thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org
[mailto:thelist-bounces at lists.evolt.org] On Behalf Of Mark MacInnes
Sent: 15 January 2008 11:44
To: thelist at lists.evolt.org
Subject: [thelist] PHP - Making All Links Unique (even to same page)


My development team has developed our own CMS over the past year or so.
We've been asked by the Internet Marketing guys this morning to make every
single link on a page unique, even if they're going to the same page, for
tracking in Google Analytics etc. I'm not looking for code or anything, just
wondering what ideas people think are the best.

So far, this is the only idea I've come up with:
- When a page is created, append '_nav' to menu links, '_bc#LinkNo#' to body
content links (whereby #LinkNo# would be replaced by a unique number for the

But I feel a little uneasy with it as it would make the links a little messy
- we use URL Rewriting to try to make friendly links, and now we might be
chucking in some extra characters for no benefit to user or search engine.

Your thoughts would be much appreciated.


Mark A. MacInnes

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