A site of mine is quite new (couple of months), α few others in the same niche have added links to mine from their sites.

One of them has added a utm to it like:


That appears in the organic results above the original url.

Obviously this is misleading because Google will see that is referring visitors when in fact it's coming from organic search results.

I don't mind it, as long as it brings in the visitors, what are the pros and cons and should I ask Google to remove it? If so how?

  • There was an answer here which linked to an article that said if rel canonical is pointed to home page then google should automatically update in the serps, wondered if that was true.
    – Abu Nooh
    Feb 24, 2016 at 19:33
  • I reposted my answer, as dan adviced I hope that help you.
    – knif3r
    Feb 29, 2016 at 8:57

1 Answer 1


Will tagging URLs with UTM parameters affect search rankings of my website?

Short answer: No. It will not affect search rankings of your website in any way. It will neither improve your website’s search rankings nor will it degrade it.

Long answer: Google (and even Bing) knows that UTM parameters are used for tracking. It ignores them when crawling websites. That being said, there have been some instances in the past where links with UTM parameters have shown up in search results. However, those are anomalies and most websites are indexed correctly.

Since we are talking about this, let me give you a little tip. You can tell Google what URL it should use when indexing a page on your website. If the URL of a page is http://yoursite.com/sale, you can add

<link rel="canonical" href="http://yoursite.com/sale" />

in the <head> section of your website. This tells Google to always use http://yoursite.com/sale in search results. This will make sure that any parameter you add to your URLs (UTM or not) won’t affect how your website is shown in search results.

Does custom UTM parameters affect the in-built reporting on social referrals?

Does custom UTM parameters affect the in-built reporting on social referrals?

Yes and no.

  • If a URL doesn’t have UTM parameters, Google looks at the referring URL and matches it against a list of hundreds of websites it believes are social networks. If there’s a match, the visit is attributed to social traffic.

  • If a URL does have UTM parameters and utm_medium is either social, social-network, social-media, sm, social network, or social media, then the visit is also attributed to social traffic. So it’s very important to use the right value for utm_medium. Remember, ‘twitter’ is not a medium. It is a source.

  • If a URL does have UTM parameters and utm_medium is not one of the above mentioned values, it won’t be counted as a visit from a social network. It will, however, show up in other traffic reports, e.g Campaigns report.

Do UTM parameters make a URL less trustworthy that gets fewer clicks?

It depends on your particular scenario. Instintively, short URLs with little to no visible tracking information feel more trustworthy and clickable. But before coming to any conclusion, you should A/B test both scenarious (with and without tracking information).

However, you can also hide the ugly long URLs in some cases.

Using shorteners (e.g bit.ly) is a good way to hide tracking information. Shortened URLs are much more acceptable when sharing on social networks. In emails, you can use a call-to-action anchor text to mask the tracking URLs. In addition, you can also use shortened URLs.

Source : http://www.terminusapp.com/blog/7-faqs-about-utm-parameters/
I hope it answer your question proper.

  • Thank you. Will add the rel canonical and see if it's taken off the serps.
    – Abu Nooh
    Feb 29, 2016 at 18:30

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