This question isn’t really based on anything that I’ve tested or looked into. Just something I’ve been pondering recently.
Usually when we talk about query strings, it’s in the context of technical SEO. However, I’m wondering if there’s potentially a sort of unconscious bias among people to be less likely to trust the source if the URL contains a bunch of query strings.
As someone with an understanding of how they’re used, I feel like I have a slight bias when viewing pages with a bunch of URL parameters (“ugh, they’re tracking me” or “ugh, this isn’t actually a local business, they’re just using dynamic keyword insertion”). I think it’s safe to say that most people don’t have that understanding.
That being said, I still wonder if there’s kind of a psychological aversion to a URL that doesn’t look like a normal URL. Would someone who isn’t aware of what query strings are still be potentially less trusting of URLs that use them (“there’s all of this weird junk at the end of the URL, this site might not be safe”)?
Or another way to look at it: do you think that converting query strings into “pretty URLs” might provide a better experience for visitors, simply for the fact that it’s easier to visualize where you are in relation to the site? Do most people even pay attention to the URL? Or do they just click a link and read the page?
Do you think this URL:
might convert better than this URL?