Shaddows - 4:58 pm on Sep 22, 2011 (gmt 0)
This site does have a significant percentage of thin and shallow product pages (not a question of duplicate MFR content as much as a lot of specs and measurements.) But where that couldn't be helped, we built up the category pages, and added a lot of supporting CMS pages with text and videos and whitepapers to talk about applications and usage, maintenance, how to pick the right product, etc. In the cases where we have to go up against, for example, Amazon, for some products, we've built several related products into bundles and kits and all-in-one solutions that Amazon can't do. And we post *why* we've bundled products a certain way too, and we give the product line a branded name of some sort, and whip up a logo for it.
Every single item we sell can be bought on Amazon, quite often more cheaply. The items we sell are all bought from Distributors (who are warranted to ONLY sell to trade), and the price we buy at can be had by any 2-bit reseller operation. The features and specs of every product is widely disseminated.
Yet we are successful, where most are not. We do re-write most copy text, but not from scratch. As stated, we do not compete on price. What we do have is real people offering real advice on the phone. Online, we have in depth advice, calculators, selectors and comparisons.
The key as I see it is differentiation. And not ad-stuffing. But mostly differentiation.
Oh, and when Google moves your traffic around, it helps if that traffic does not (statistically) have a higher satisfaction elsewhere. That's about long-clicks, in the main.