I'm a little puzzled with the following problem:

When I hover over a link a WordPress site I'm looking after, I can see that the URL is https://xxxxxxx.com/apply-now/?

All the links on the page have an ? appended to the end of them.

I'm not sure where this is being set, and to make matters more confusing, the ? does not appear when you view the page source for the page. i.e. the anchor tag would look like href="https://xxxxxx.com.au/apply/"

I've had a look through some of the places I would expect this to be set, but I can't see anything i.e. bitnami.conf, apache.conf, htaccess.conf, etc.

It's a Bitnami stack, with apache, serving a WP site.

I can't seem to find a plugin that might be rewriting things.

It seems like something is adding a parameter to the URL on every single page, which ends up confusing crawlers like Screaming Frog and GoogleBot.

Any suggestions?


  • Do you have any rewrite rules (either in .htaccess or in apache conf)? Can you edit you post to include them. Especially any that have the QSA (query string append) flag. Dec 20, 2021 at 7:20
  • Could this be caused by JavaScript? Do you see the question mark added via a redirect if you test with curl.se on the command line like curl --head https://example.com/page? Dec 20, 2021 at 7:21
  • to checkit first: disable your browser javascript. for example Turn Off JavaScript in Firefox see: lifewire.com/disable-javascript-in-firefox-446039 Dec 20, 2021 at 8:24
  • .com/apply-now/ vs .com.au/apply/ - Is this just a typo in the question, or is the URL-path and TLD also changing on hover?
    – MrWhite
    Dec 20, 2021 at 11:11
  • If you only see this when "hovering over a link" (and presumably persists when you follow the link) then this can only be client-side, not server-side (eg. URL rewriting) as appears to be the focus in the question. How is this "confusing crawlers"? Are they issuing a warning? Duplicate URLs?
    – MrWhite
    Dec 20, 2021 at 11:18


Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.