Does Google ignore hashtags in a URL?

Hashtags in a URLs

Does Google ignore hashtags in a URL?

The official short version is YES… John Mueller: “We usually ignore everything after a # when it comes to links and discovering URLs.”

For JavaScript websites here is a link to the official documentation.

Since we have already stepped on the ground, let me share what I have noticed and my heads up on that matter. Nothing important yet… most likely not in the future either, but still there is a trend.

You may recall from my other posts that there is an experimental website created more or less three years ago: seogalway.com. Up until last week, the site consisted of just one page with navigation to various sections within it using the # symbol.

Does Google ignore hashtags in a URL?


I was quite surprised when I examined the GSC performance report and noticed that these URLs were being reported separately (please check the images). It seemed unusual, but I had a possible explanation: the recorded metrics might have been sourced from Google Sitelinks or Google Business Profile (GMB)…

Does Google ignore hashtags in a URL?

404 errors coming from the same 404

I almost ignored it until I recalled something else – some crawling tools on different sites have started reporting 404 errors coming from the same 404 pages 🤔.

OK…, if you ask, ‘Do search engines crawl 404 pages and the links on 404 pages?’ – the short answer is also ‘yes,’ and it may indicate that they have dedicated more crawl budget to your site…

Referring to my 404 errors: from where were coming these 404 links on these 404 pages? – and the answer is from # links that were used for modal window opening.

That made me investigate if other – normal, not experimental sites have # tag URLs in their performance reports. The answer is again – YES. They are not indexed but still Google shows them as separate results. It seems this trend started increasing somewhere in the middle of may this year…(2023)

Does Google ignore hashtags in a URL?

My heads up

When you have some free time (I know sounds as a joke) but still check your sites and look for functionalities that use anchor element with href=”#” as a trigger…
My recommendation is to change to whatever other HTML element you/your developers find suitable and attach click event listener to it.

I was wondering for a while how to understand this Google “signal”: the display of hashtag URLs (anchor links) in the performance report, even though they state that they ignore all information after the # symbol. A confirmation of their statement is the fact that they do not index them as separate pages.

So, a thought came to my mind, and I will try to prove it with an experiment: Google might not mind having separate pages for the content in those different hashtag sections. Just like Generative AI attempts to provide us with short, concise information about what we are looking for instead of the regular SERP list, and we keep searching there, maybe Google is starting to shift from its preference for extended thousand-word articles to preferring shorter pages that contain everything you need for that specific query….

Does Google ignore hashtags in a URL?

Table of content links in the GSC Performance report may represent the new format desired by Google, offering short content pages that go directly to the point and quickly satisfy user intent.

Does Google ignore hashtags in a URL?
Marin Popov

Marin Popov – SEO Consultant with over 15 years of experience in the digital marketing industry. SEO Expert with exceptional analytical skills for interpreting data and making strategic decisions. Proven track record of delivering exceptional results for clients across diverse industries.


Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *