Please Explain 'Hashbang' URLs and if They're Indexable by Google.
 by Kristi Hagen

Please Explain 'Hashbang' URLs and if They're Indexable by Google.

  • I'm wondering about this question of hashtags in URLs on a 'hub' page, which takes the user to a section of the page. When the user clicks on the 'chaptering' at the top of the page, an anchor corresponding to the fragment scrolls to display the section on the page, and inputs a hashtag into the URL.

    I may have this wrong, but on the recent SEN training I understood that Google can index the hashtag URLs, so, my question is: Does this mean that the corresponding URL could be cannibalized, and/or does this risk the ranking of the corresponding main keyword URL in any way?

    For example: the hashtag takes the user to e.g., domain.com/headaches#treatment, BUT there is also a link from this section on the page where the user can click to the unique URL: domain.com/headaches/treatment which is the URL I'd like to rank for.

    Is this a problem? If Google did index the #treatment URL, wouldn't it have the canonical for the main page itself? ...so would this prevent duplicate content and cannibalization? But the main question is: can it index these hashtag URLs?

    And what's the difference between hashtag URLs and hashbang URLs?

Answer:

For starters, hashtag and hashbang are interchangeable terms for the anchor element on the page, aka, named anchors.

More importantly, Google understands how hashtags work and how you might be using them on a page. If they detect they're in use, and think they may be of value, they can disclose them in search results to help visitors go directly to the content they're looking for.

However, just because they show the URL with the hashtag, that doesn't mean it's indexed as a separate entity. For instance, Google knows that all of these URLs are the same page with the same content...

https://yoursite.com/products.html#subheading1
https://yoursite.com/products.html#subheading2
https://yoursite.com/products.html#subheading3

...which will continue to be indexed as the canonical https://yoursite.com/products.html

The #subheading1 would not be considered a unique URL attribute even though Google may display it like one for the benefit of users.

Y...

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