A sitemap is a file where you provide information about the pages, videos, and other files on your site, and the relationships between them. When it comes to handling query string parameters in a sitemap, there are a couple of points to consider.
Search engines like Google typically view each unique URL as a separate page. So, if you have query parameters changing the content of the page significantly, they should be included in the sitemap as separate URLs. Consider an eCommerce website where a product page's content changes with different
productId parameter values. In this case, each unique
productId should create a separate URL in the sitemap.
However, if the query parameters do not significantly alter the page content (for example, tracking parameters), then they usually shouldn't be included in the sitemap. This helps avoid duplicate content issues.
Here is an example of how two different URLs with query parameters might look in an XML sitemap:
Remember that the best practices can vary based on specific use cases and search engine behaviors, which may evolve over time. Always check the latest guidelines from search engines for the most accurate information.