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Best way to approach adding 200,000 product pages?

     

GreenScene

1:25 am on May 14, 2011 (gmt 0)



Hello all,
First time poster here. I am working on an e-commerce site that currently sells around 5,000 different products, each with its own product page. The site is around PR3, a fairly young site, been growing steadily in traffic and search engine rankings for the past two years. No issues with Panda update or any other updates this year.

We are taking on a new distributor that has over 200,000 products in their catalog. This is going to require not only new categorization/navigation to handle them all, but is going to be a serious amount of pages to ask Google to index from a fairly low PR site. Obviously we're not going to be writing unique product descriptions for 200,000 products, so there will be quite a lot of duplicate content. We're also going to be changing our user interface. We will be preserving most of our current categories and urls.

Wondering if anyone out there has experience with this type of massive increase in pages, and how Google might react to the change. Any thoughts about the best way to approach it? Would it help if we stagger the new page additions over a month, or would it not make much difference? Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

Whitey

2:28 am on May 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Great to hear you've been unaffected, but why risk what's working with thin content?

trinorthlighting

2:40 am on May 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Just start adding them, it will take time to write descriptions so if you add a few hundred a day there will be no flags. Just make sure your descriptions are unique.

tedster

2:52 am on May 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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



Obviously we're not going to be writing unique product descriptions for 200,000 products, so there will be quite a lot of duplicate content.

I'd say put up the non-original descriptions only for your shoppers to browse, but not for Google to index. Use the meta googlebot no-index tag, or x-robots directive or even robots.txt disallow. But if you let Google index a couple hundred thousand duplicate descriptions you will risk destroying the good that you've already built up by getting a site-wide negative quality score.

GreenScene

3:40 am on May 14, 2011 (gmt 0)



@ Tedster; Isn't duplicate content somewhat expected on e-commerce sites though? I have seen other PR<4 websites with similar number of duplicate pages that don't seem to be getting penalized. Going no-index on them is a tough call to make - lots of potential long tail traffic there that would be passed up...lots of internal anchor text not being counted as well.

tedster

4:09 am on May 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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



You asked for our advice, and that is mine. You can certainly roll the dies and see if it flies for you. And it might indeed work - there is little certainty with Google.

However, Google has been advising websites for several years not to duplicate merchandise descriptions that other sites are already using, or not to just reproduce manufacturer feeds.

Whitey

12:08 pm on May 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Google has been advising websites for several years not to duplicate merchandise descriptions that other sites are already using,


Do you have a specific reference for that ?

Also ... do you think that Google takes into consideration the product appearing in the meta title, in terms of quality? I mean a thousand " red widgets" surely doesn't excite Google.

GreenScene

12:11 pm on May 14, 2011 (gmt 0)



I do appreciate the feedback. I think my approach is going to be looking into what I can do to get enough unique content on each page, that Google could see some "value added" and not straight manufacturer dupes.

netmeg

12:43 pm on May 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I work almost exclusively with ecommerce sites. I'd definitely noindex all those pages with the merchant descriptions to begin with; maybe customize the heck out of category pages. If you unleash 200000 thin/dupe content pages all at once, that's going to tip the balance of the overall 'quality' of your site something fierce.
 

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