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I've been running an ecommerce site which generates roughly 125-150 sales per month for the past 5 months. I make sure to spend time daily on SEO, and the site is finally to a point where I feel that I am starting to really climb the ranks in my niche and am being noticed on Google. Over the past month, I'll end with about 2,500 uniques from said search engine.
Now, 99% of my product descriptions are basically the stock product descriptions taken from the manufacturers web sites. How important is it to custom tailor these to both entice customers and increase the uniques coming in from the search engines? I'd imagine that this is a no brainer, and I should make sure to customize or atleast add content to each product description and "make it my own" so to speak?
Made our site stand out because almost none of our competitors use more than stock descriptions.
On our site we have 2 sorts of products. Engines and engine spares. The engines have very detailed descriptions and technical specs. However the engine spares are a different matter. For example an oil filter how exciting can you make it, often an oil filter is used on more than one product. I have in the past listed and oil filter as "oil filter for engine 1, engine 2, etc..." but if I miss and engine off the list this can confuse customers.
So what I have done is use the catagory structure in the description, Engine manufacturer > engine > area of engine> part description. This seems to work ok.
Is there a formula for how much content needs to change so it does not flagged as duplicate content? 10% difference? 30% 50%?
Depending on how many products you have.... I would do it a little slower than that. Keep the spiders interested by showing them new content every visit. You could make this project last for several weeks over hundreds of crawls.
Although you could write all the text ASAP, just roll out a little bit everyday.
Does anybody else agree with me?
I could make an argument for both ways. I think in this case, with duplicate content out there and likely hurting his rankings, I'd err on the side of expediency and get the existing descriptions rewritten. Then they can work on additional content a little bit at a time.
No more than a day after I had changed a product's description to a custom one of my own Google seemed to crawl it and I am receiving atleast ten uniques per day for that product.
Ten uniques may not seem like much but this is a very seldomly purchased product which was only receiving one or two uniques prior to the custom description.
Thanks again for everyone's help on this.