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Hello everyone,

I am having a bit of an issue right now with some of my product listings. Right now I have about 3000 product listings on my site. All the content for them is unique and written by me, but I think google might be starting to punish me for duplicate content and when I say that I mean duplicate content on my own site..everything is unique to my site so I am not worried about duplicate content from the rest of the web.

Basically each product gets its own URL, but I have a few product groups that have three or four hundred listings but with all the same description, basically the part numbers are what differentiate them. So we will take rubber washers for example....I have 400 different rubber washers:

Rubber Washer #33456 1/2 inch

Great rubber washer, high impact strength

buy now

So imagine that three or four hundred times with just different part numbers. At first google was indexing every one of these pages, but now all of the sudden they are not.

How can I tackle this moving forward? Is there a better way to structure my pages so that google will still find all the different part numbers?

Is it best to have one singular page for "rubber washer" and simply have a select box with all the part numbers? My main concern is keeping my high rankings for individual part numbers.


Thanks for any help
#advice #seo
  • Profile picture of the author Stephen Crooks
    It depends on how much other content you have on your pages. It is not necessarily a problem but it depends on what keywords you are checking that you are indexed for. If your descriptions are not adding any other value or you only have a few words on each page that are basically the same as each other page then yes, this will be a problem.

    Look at how Amazon list their products and notice how descriptive each page is and how much info they include for each product including reviews, technical info, descriptions etc..

    I know it is a major task to achieve the same thing but you should try to use that as a shining example of what Google looks for in commerce sites.
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    • Profile picture of the author junkbox
      Okay so basically you are saying that the individual reviews and all the other content really differentiate each product on Amazon's site?

      That makes a lot of sense and I have thought of ways to really differentiate each page.
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  • Profile picture of the author SearchBlogger
    The more unique and detailed you can make each product description the better. I do a lot of copywriting for ecommerce sites and it really does make a huge difference.

    Take a look at this blog post I wrote for Search Engine Journal on unique product descriptions.
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    • Profile picture of the author DudleyDog
      Yes, many of the big players with ecommerce sites have been hit by this recently.

      It seems the only way out of this is to get in there and create as much unique content as possible.

      After all, it's one of the core modus operandi of Google.
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      • Profile picture of the author junkbox
        Well...figure I already have the products in my catalog, if it takes me a few weeks to go through fifty to 100 a day and add some uniqueness, then I see that as a little work for a lot of return in the end.

        As for waiting to see if they get indexed...basically about two weeks ago I had about 1900 urls of 2100 indexed and had been growing up to that point...Then I inserted about 800 new products to the catalog and resubmitted my sitemap...since that point my indexed URL's have been dropping, both in webmaster tools and when I do an actual site: inquiry, although webmaster tools is reporting a lower indexed number than what I actually find.

        Right now when I run a site: query I am at about 1650 down from a high of 2200.
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  • Profile picture of the author jacked
    That is weird, I have an ecommerce site like that and all my pages are doing fine, I have built links to the pages as well, and they are all indexed. But then again I only have 20 pages which have the same content, not 3 or 4 hundred. Did you try waiting a little while to see if they are indexed?
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  • Profile picture of the author junkbox
    Originally Posted by SEO Sage View Post

    That is what you need to do, not only to avoid google punishment, but also to make life easier on your customers! hope that helped friend
    But Sage, if I make a single page for "rubber washers" and then have a select menu with 400 different part numbers...will I be found easily when someone searches for one of those part numbers?

    Right now I feel like I have hundreds of different indexed pages featuring these part numbers, meaning ultimately a better chance of being found...If I take all that away and just go to one page with multiple (hundreds of part numbers) will I still be found as frequently?

    See right now people don't really "browse" through my catalog, so having individual pages for each part number is not a problem for my customers because the only way they are being found is through the search engines...

    Ahhcckkk I had a nice March so I am hesitant to change things but I want what ultimately will work best in the long term.
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    • Profile picture of the author Stephen Crooks
      Your pages will only get indexed for the content on them so to answer your question, keep the individual pages with part numbers. Like I said earlier though, expand on this though and start adding lots of useful content for each page as well.

      Originally Posted by junkbox View Post

      But Sage, if I make a single page for "rubber washers" and then have a select menu with 400 different part numbers...will I be found easily when someone searches for one of those part numbers?

      Right now I feel like I have hundreds of different indexed pages featuring these part numbers, meaning ultimately a better chance of being found...If I take all that away and just go to one page with multiple (hundreds of part numbers) will I still be found as frequently?

      See right now people don't really "browse" through my catalog, so having individual pages for each part number is not a problem for my customers because the only way they are being found is through the search engines...

      Ahhcckkk I had a nice March so I am hesitant to change things but I want what ultimately will work best in the long term.
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      • Profile picture of the author usearchme2
        Originally Posted by Steve Crooks View Post

        Your pages will only get indexed for the content on them so to answer your question, keep the individual pages with part numbers. Like I said earlier though, expand on this though and start adding lots of useful content for each page as well.
        I agree with him lol

        Thought im sure its a daunting task having to update so many pages, can people leave reviews about each product, if so this would help you, as you can get your users to leave UNIQUE content for you on the product pages.

        The more unique each page is the less chance you have of duplicate content issues and the better it will be in the long term, as you will remove this issue from your site and wont have to worry about it anymore.

        I have done something similar mylelf in recent months, it was a complete nightmare but if you do it right it can work really effectively.

        Woc
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        • Profile picture of the author junkbox
          Originally Posted by usearchme2 View Post

          I agree with him lol

          Thought im sure its a daunting task having to update so many pages, can people leave reviews about each product, if so this would help you, as you can get your users to leave UNIQUE content for you on the product pages.

          Woc
          Actually what I think I am going to do is allow people to ask questions about each product. The products are technical in nature and have fitment requirements so I think a better idea would be to let people "ask an expert" or something like that.

          Daunting task for sure, but over time I certainly can add uniqueness to the similar products.
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  • Profile picture of the author seoservices1
    HI

    SEO Stands Search engine optimization It is proses getting traffic from free organic listing search engine. SEO is two part on page and off page activity.
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  • Profile picture of the author seo-expert
    Some e-commerce sites were affected by the Google Panda update because of the penalty for duplicate content across web pages.

    The only remedy is to update all the website pages which is a tall task considering that some site have 1000 pages or more.
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  • Profile picture of the author rian143
    Maybe you can hire someone most likely Filipino.
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  • Profile picture of the author junkbox
    Well an update to this thread: My indexed links have actually recovered and seem to be normal and growing again...BUT with that said, I am still going to do as much as possible to add complete uniqueness to each individual product!
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Here is the things I would check on your site/pages:

    1) Make sure every single page has it's own unique canonical tag (google it).

    2) Be descriptive in your page Title (very important). If the washer is 1/2" OD, 1/4" ID, 1/8" thickness (I was a machinist for 9-years ) add that to your Title and/or Meta-Description.

    3) Use Tags (on page) to help connect related content.





    Originally Posted by junkbox View Post

    Hello everyone,

    I am having a bit of an issue right now with some of my product listings. Right now I have about 3000 product listings on my site. All the content for them is unique and written by me, but I think google might be starting to punish me for duplicate content and when I say that I mean duplicate content on my own site..everything is unique to my site so I am not worried about duplicate content from the rest of the web.

    Basically each product gets its own URL, but I have a few product groups that have three or four hundred listings but with all the same description, basically the part numbers are what differentiate them. So we will take rubber washers for example....I have 400 different rubber washers:

    Rubber Washer #33456 1/2 inch

    Great rubber washer, high impact strength

    buy now

    So imagine that three or four hundred times with just different part numbers. At first google was indexing every one of these pages, but now all of the sudden they are not.

    How can I tackle this moving forward? Is there a better way to structure my pages so that google will still find all the different part numbers?

    Is it best to have one singular page for "rubber washer" and simply have a select box with all the part numbers? My main concern is keeping my high rankings for individual part numbers.


    Thanks for any help
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  • Profile picture of the author dtang4
    I think the big issue here is that the difference among your washer pages is just a number, versus text. I would try to add in differentiated text.

    For instance, per what yukon is suggesting, use different terms, like "OD," "ID," "thickness," whatever, for different numerical values. It would be ideal, if you can put in full phrases or sentences that changes based on the value or is randomized. E.g., if washer is < X", add the phrases "this small washer is perfect for blah blah..." If you can, even translate the numbers to its qualitative equivalent, e.g. 1/4" -> quarter inch.
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  • Profile picture of the author mahesh2010
    I agree, content is the most important one for websites, because content is the king of website, so you can optimize the quality content with more informative, because it can bring website traffics and to convert visitors into customers.
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