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Google Dupe Content - using manufacturer's descriptions

How does it work for e-commerce websites?

4:05 pm on Apr 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hey everyone,

If I have a site that lists products from manufacturers and I post the descriptions for each product that is found also on the manufacturers website, does this count for duplicate content?

My website lists just under 300 products from other manufacturers. I grab their descriptions and post them on my site. They are usually around 500 words. Could this be effecting my ranking because the descriptions are also found on the manufacturers website and on other websites like mine that sell those products?

7:36 pm on Apr 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

In a word, yes.
7:50 pm on Apr 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Thanks for your reply Tedster.

Could it majorly effect my ranking?

I assume I will have to go through each description and put it in my own wording.

11:02 pm on Apr 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

then why do I see the top ten rankings for a specific product from ten different companys with the exact description?
11:21 pm on Apr 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

That is a good question....

You could then ask, how does Google know its a product description that WILL cause more dupe content than websites just using text from another.

2:49 am on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have the same issue. I have several thousand products, some are unique and hopefully can be found no where else but most come from different suppliers across the world and in many cases the only description I have to use is the manufactuers description and would find it very difficult if not impossible to change the descriptions significantly on those thousands of products to make them different enough from other sites that might also carry them.

Has anyone ever used one of the similar page checkers that you find out there? I tried one recently on a page of my products that I know were strictly manufactuers descriptions vs. a page of another site that carrys the same products. I went in and changed each and every description on that page to make it as different as possible from the canned description without losing the context of the description then compared it to the other sites page using the similar page checker and it told me that the pages were 87% similar.

Anyone want to make a guess as to what the precentage of difference between pages/descriptions has to be so it wont be flagged as dupe content? I have no clue what the percentage should be, am hoping someone else might have a clue, just doesnt seem worth all the effort of changing all the descriptions if all one can get is a 15-20% difference, unless of course it is enough.....

2:50 am on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

The word "optimize" is what's operating here. Can some duplicate descriptions get through unfiltered in the search results? Sure, they obviously do. Will your pages stand a better chance of getting search ranking and traffic if the page content is unique? Yes, that is the "optimal" situation.
6:23 am on Apr 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have a site, in which I do basically the same thing (with the manufacturers’ description). What I do with them though is:

1. List the description, as it comes from the manufacturer
2. Run the same description thru Systran Pro 5 (translation software), so I can use the description in say Spanish, German and French (depends on the products sometimes). Then have the different language sections on the same page (so long as the descriptions aren't too long to begin with).

Doing things this way has several benefits.

It keeps with my personal philosophy of making my sites valuable to as many different types of people as possible (many visitors, even from within the US, would prefer to view information in their native language, even if they are fluent in English).

The SEO benefit from this is that, even though there may be a translation on the manufacturers' website, Systran Pro (although one of the best packages available) is not entirely fluent. So the resulting translation, although accurate enough, will generally not be exact. So the resulting content won't be the same. The more varied content you add to the page (where your manufacturers' description is located), the less your chances are of getting hit with the dupe content issue.

Not sure if others agree, but this methodology has always yielded very good results for me, even in times like now, with the Google situation being so screwed up.