Right now the website has search results like the following url.


I am planning to change this to


How does Google or any other search engine treat the search results page for a website. My guess is they don't index the first link but they may index the second link. Do you think it will have any negative consequences to the SEO?.

Should I a disallow /search/* in my robots.txt ? Will that be sufficient to prevent against any penalties from the search engine.

On a similar note how does Category pages get treated by Search engine. Should we disallow them as well ?

2 Answers 2


There is only a slight difference.

All search engines understand parameters. Parameters have been around since the beginning of search engines.

There is only one difference from an SEO perspective and it will not help you much.

Using your example, Google will remove all special characters to obtain the terms within the URI.

?s=ajax becomes ajax


search/ajax becomes search ajax

In this particular case, you have one more term for search, however, that additional term search, is such a common word it will have little to no value. But because search engines can recognize this is a search page, and having the additional term search is a valuable clue, it will likely take note of ajax as being an important term for the page. If your ?s=ajax was ?search=ajax, both ?search=ajax and search/ajax would be relatively equal.

But what is important is that you likely do not want your search pages indexed. You want the content pages indexed. Search engines do not generally like search pages since in the past they were used to spam search engines.

Instead, create a sitemap that has all of the content pages you want search engines to know about and restrict access to your search function. You will get much better results.


Google does not want search results in their search results. So you should be blocking your search results from being crawled.

Category pages are generally fine (at least as far as I know Google has not said they do not like them). Just make sure their content is not duplicate or near duplicate of other category pages. In those cases canonical URLs may be a good idea.

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