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What Defines a Shallow Content Page? (ecom related)
Martin Ice Web




msg:4678461
 11:46 am on Jun 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

So after 3 years of panda now, this last one seems to affect ecoms in a very different way than informational sites. While some info site that had been punished by panda ) has now been released out of pandas arm, ecoms seems to have get hit more again.

I read a lot about how poeple got of panda and their strategies. Common sense was, they deleted or noindexed 90% of their content pages, especially product pages that are very similar.

This now is the last step i will take after gaining traffic from panda 3, i got allmost back to 80% from prepanda traffic pushed down now with panda 4 again.

google give this hint in how to create a descent quality site, that i could help putting pages together or deleting content or noindex shallow sites.

Like most ecom we have the very big problem of similar items ( differ only by lenght, colour, weight a.s.o ). We put most similar items on a summary page and canonical hrefs to this one. But now we have 5 similar summary pages for this item only differ by colour. We will put them together and will let the user take control of the item selection by ajax.

Now we have many other items that does not fit into a summary page. I will start do noindex them. But the big questions is where is the treshold that a page is not descent enough and be interpreted as shallow content?

In serps i see many shallow ecoms pages that have only one sentenc on it and one picture the rest of the page is cross promotion to other ( maby related items with about 20-30 links on it and in most cases a mega menu on the left site ). This are not big online shops or brands! This are very shallow ecoms i have never heard of and wpuld not trust. But still they rank with their product pages in top 10.

If you read in webmasterworld you see opinions that a descent description is about 150 words long. Good written with facts and pictures.


How does this match to this shallow sites?
Where is the point to noindex the page in regard of shallow content?
Where is the point to noindex that page because it looks like a doorway?

 

aakk9999




msg:4678801
 6:03 pm on Jun 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

In serps i see many shallow ecoms pages that have only one sentence on it and one picture

I think that it also depends whether this same product is sold by other sites or not. If your product is more unique to your site, it seems your page can be more shallow. But if your product is exactly the same as it can be bought on hundred of other sites, then not even 150 unique words would help you as it would not differentiate you enough - after all, you still have to describe the same product that is being sold elsewhere and 150 words may not be enough to make your page special above others.

Globetrotter




msg:4678857
 8:19 pm on Jun 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

I do not have an e com site but I worked on the same issue for a forum / content site. Big problem what to noindex and what to keep. What i have done is to show Google Analytics data below the content and see how many visitors I got from Google. If it where none or next to none I no indexed it. This seemed to have helped me in this latest update.

Something you also might check is your server logs and filter it by google bot. You might see it is crawling a lot more than you thought. On my site Google was able to dynamically construct URLs it should not be able to.

The weird thing it that despite the fact you delete or noindex a lot of pages you get more and more traffic.

I am still removing content step by step.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4678889
 10:02 pm on Jun 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

Aak, i don't Unverstand this One.

If your product is more unique .... ?

Can you explain it please?


Globetrotter, that is something that i read Now very often. Noindex Pages with nearly no Traffic will Rise Overall Traffic.

The question Now is , what to do If that page gets Traffic through picture serps? Will it get Traffic through picsearch while it is noindexed?

What is better noindex the page or Set the canonical Tag to the subcategory page where this item can be selected.

netmeg




msg:4679083
 1:51 pm on Jun 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

It goes back to business model, Martin. If a person is selling the same products as a thousand other websites, and there's no real unique point of value, then 150 extra words on a page aren't going to help that site stand out compared to the others. At that point, it's pretty much random whichever ranks better.

aakk9999




msg:4679094
 2:14 pm on Jun 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

If your product is more unique .... ?

I meant - if you are selling something that is not sold widely on many websites, perhaps because you add something to the product/service or perhaps because your product is so different a very few sell it.

What is better noindex the page or Set the canonical Tag to the subcategory page where this item can be selected.

I would noindex in that case. The subcategory page is not a canonical of the product page.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4679124
 5:12 pm on Jun 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

So if i get it right it is time to take a niche of the niche and beeing the best in it. Make it the best informational resource to buy from, like MC said due to panda issues.
I like to do it. Problem is panda takes down the complete site while having a small shallow content niche on it. But as an ecom u probably must have a lot of choices for the users cause this is what they want.
So how is there a wa. Out. Icould be the best in a topic but an other topic pushes the whole site down.

Aakk, u know if pictures still in serps while noindexing the page they are on?

Robert Charlton




msg:4679142
 6:25 pm on Jun 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

Like most ecom we have the very big problem of similar items (differ only by length, colour, weight a.s.o). We put most similar items on a summary page and canonical hrefs to this one. But now we have 5 similar summary pages for this item only differ by colour. We will put them together and will let the user take control of the item selection by ajax.

I can see this as being especially difficult for manufacturers, who necessarily must offer their complete line. But when ajax is used for item selection, the SKU (Stock Keeping Units) are no longer indexed independently. This creates a frustrating situation for those companies who know that the largest customers... not many, but the largest ones... search by SKU. Noindexing these pages creates similar invisibility.

Form driven sites present similar indexing problems... potentially returning too many pages essentially the same, and which need to be noindexed... and for good and valid reasons.

But... from a manufacturer's perspective, and for some searchers, this makes certain important identifiers very hard to find online. I don't know whether this is your situation, Martin, but it is one I've become sympathetic to, both as an SEO and as a searcher/consumer.

In various types of sites I've handled this differently... often with customized internal search or faceted navigation that's not visible to Google, but the "not visible to Google" aspect of it can be a problem when it forces elimination of what are key identifiers in the organic serps.

shallow ecoms

What I've observed, though, is that some sites with extremely shallow pages that aren't dealing with a breadth of choice, but simply sell, say, the most popular item of a brand and can make those identifiers visible prominently to Google without internal duplication, often do rank ... and yes, there's a question about where one draws the line... or how to do this on a site that offers all products of a brand.

Globetrotter




msg:4679157
 7:55 pm on Jun 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

Are you able to get customer reviews for your products? This makes the content more unique and there seems to be ways to do it on a massive scale. Mostly by builing a community around your website.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4679158
 8:24 pm on Jun 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

Robert, this is one point that adds to the point i try to understand.

So i have many items that need no big description. 5 to 10 words and some technical info. In regard of the page content, the navigation and anything else the item is less than 10% of page size. I could noindex it but this item is not a burner but sometimes one needs it. Yesterday i goet an mail from china with a quotation for this item. So noindex it will mean not selling it.
In my niche are two big resellers . They have similar items with less description and more navigation overhead, they come away with it , the smaller ecom not.
I made some search pages and filter pages like you robert. I noindex them but google crawls them anyway and i deem that this could be rising a DC or shallow content filter again.
No one knows these days.

@globetrotter, yes reviews. Unfortunatelly my items give not a big chance for reviews. Lets say i sell pencils. What can you say about pencils? It makes a nice line. It is easy to write wirh it.
I don' t think that this is what a page makes it less shallow.
I know from amazon that they sell some of the items. Reviews are: nice to look at. It works ok! Firs perfect in my livingroom.
Amazon may go through panda with it , small ecoms not.
Second, we do sell 80% to business. It is for sure that business customers will not write an review or do something like that. and i can't write to a company like Siemens and ask them for a review.

Maybe this is sodmething google should overthink. Not every ecom fits into the same shoe.

What just goes through my mind Robert is, you make sites for SE especislly for google and not for users. Shouldn't it be the otherway?

netmeg




msg:4679167
 9:35 pm on Jun 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

My take on it is that Google isn't going to change to suit me, so I need to change to get any success. And if I can't, then I have to change my business model. Because Google isn't going to change to suit me.

aakk9999




msg:4679170
 9:47 pm on Jun 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

Aakk, u know if pictures still in serps while noindexing the page they are on?

Noindexed page should not block Google finding image URLs and then Google can subsequently request (and index) images (assuming you are not blocking image URLs via robots.txt)

I noindex them but google crawls them anyway and i deem that this could be rising a DC or shallow content filter again.
Google will crawl pages that are noindexed, it has to in order to see noindex attribute. Noindex directive has nothing to do with crawling, it impacts indexing (that is, showing the page in SERPs).
Awarn




msg:4679172
 9:54 pm on Jun 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

Have you ever considered taking some of the lines that don't sell that well and make a different site for them that can be indexed. Kind of split the lines somewhat with each section having it's own site. If you can isolate a section that you sell but they aren't your primary products and put them on a separate site it might make Google happy. You could also throw images of similar products or something like that to fill the pages, or a sale item image, tip of the day etc.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4679242
 5:22 am on Jun 12, 2014 (gmt 0)

Awarn, i noindexed the items with little description and put it on a page with 'similar' items. Now i wait for g to catch up with my changes.

Netmeg, thanx. With time go by one gets sort of blind to business. Change is the answer. But still we follow g and not the user.

Aaak, I know noindex is a sign for SEs not include it into serps but is it also a sign not to rate it and not to include it into panda calculation?

Still there is the question why some site come away with shallow content sites and some not. I thought it could be a comparison of similar pages from different sites and if all pages are shallow then g takes one that is the less shallowest of all. They attrieve the data through GSA (SKU).

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