What are URL query parameters?

The URL query string is everything that comes after a question mark in a link (for the most part), and it's split into individual query parameters. 

For instance, in the link crowdtangle.com?search_term=facebook, the query parameter is "search_term" and the value of that parameter is "facebook." Query parameters allow you to attach information to a URL without changing the underlying structure of it.

Why does this matter?

A common use case for query parameters is to track performance of a link across the internet or in a campaign. For instance, you may "tag" a link that you share on Facebook with a parameter like "platform=facebook" and tag that same link on Instagram with the parameter "platform=instagram." This way, your analytics tool can see who clicked that same link on Facebook vs. Instagram. 

There are a variety of other reasons you may want to search for links with certain query parameters, and CrowdTangle can help. We track all query parameters of every link in our system, but we don't search them automatically. However it's as easy as a flick of a switch! Just tick "Include URLs" inside any search. The screenshot below demonstrates how to do it:

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