Search Console, Lawyer Websites and ?refpageviewid=

By Raouf on 19 September, 2022

Hey, this is the SEO team at Fuelist Digital. We thought it would be fun to start logging quick write-ups on some of the SEO tasks we come across in our day-to-day work. During a routine Google Search Console check for one of our law firm client websites, we came across a rather odd set of pages excluded from indexing due to a 4xx response. All of the page URLs ended in the same query string, “?refpageviewid=“. We needed to know where it was coming from.

Don’t worry, your lawyer website isn’t hacked

If you’re reading this, you probably have the same issue we had and went to Google to figure it out. We’ll save you the stress, this doesn’t mean your website is hacked. (Or at least, ?refpageviewid isn’t coming from a hack.)

It’s coming from FindLaw

Supposedly for tracking / analytics purposes, FindLaw adds this query string to the “Visit Website” button link on its law firm profile pages. Their website generates a new ID passed into the query string for each user session. ?redpageviewid issue demonstrated coming from FindLaw

Search Console will add external 404 links to your ‘Pages’ section

That being said, Google Search Console will add these generated URLs to their list of “known URLs” on your website. This can be quite annoying in some cases, but it’s worth knowing that the search engine considers external incoming links a source for page discovery on your website.

Hire Fuelist Digital to do Your Law Firm SEO

Contact our agency for a free SEO consultation. We have extensive experience in ranking law firms in search, and we’re the marketing firm behind a lot of law firm business success stories.