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(and I also hate it from a user point of view)
Filters powered by AJAX that don't create new SEO urls work great at making this content accessible to users without cluttering up the site map with combinations that have no search volume.
Google, comment on this please. Should we delete completely or s noindex just as good?
... For this reason, if you believe you've been impacted by this change you should evaluate all the content on your site and do your best to improve the overall quality of the pages on your domain. Removing low quality pages or moving them to a different domain could help your rankings for the higher quality content.
[seoholic AKA wysz AKA Google Employee]
Think about a directory review for a minute (a big one, like Yahoo!) ... It doesn't really matter too much if all of your pages are indexed in a search engine, they still look at the pages and see what works and what doesn't and if your site is 'high enough quality' (there's that pesky work again) to be included ... IMO that's what Google is doing algorithmically.
Some webmasters may decide to use the canonical tag to communicate to Google to redirect pages 2, 3, 4, and 5 to page 1. But technically, as per Maile from Google in the panel last night, that is wrong and should not be done.
Maile explained that since the results on pages 2, 3, 4, and 5 are different from page 1, you should not use the canonical tag here.
Not only that, if you do, Google may ignore it because Google uses methods to determine if the canonical tag command is actually something valid for that case. So if you canonical page 2 to page 1 and page 2 is not similar enough to page 1, Google may ignore your canonical tag.
If itís possible to keep things relatively shallow in terms of intermediate pages, that can be a good practice. If someone has to click through seven layers of faceted navigation to find a single product, they might lose their patience. It is also weird on the search engine side if we have to click through seven or eight layers of intermediate faceted navigation before we get to a product. In some sense, thatís a lot of clicks, and a lot of PageRank that is used up on these intermediate pages with no specific products that people can buy. Each of those clicks is an opportunity for a small percentage of the PageRank to dissipate.