As many of you we are driving an ecom site that was badly hit on Aprilī12 and then with every next panda update.
In regard of users action and satisfaction I did restructure my site ( one memeber of WebmasterWorld told me to it ).
-I added content
-went through spelling
-reduced keyword density
But nothing helped, but on August 12 panda update we got again something on our nose.
The only thing I was not dare to do, is that I put the canonical tag on similar widgets.
Unfortunatelly googles help sites do not offer explicit details on how/best way to use it.
I think many webmaster will have the same problem, therefore I ask for our opinion.
We have many widgets, some of them are very similar like:
Manufacturer - Typ - color - lenght ( about 800x times )
The typ/manufacture widgets itself are not similar, but if I put this in the title tag, it would be very long and it would look like keyword stuffing.
I probably think google sees this as a content farm. I didnīt do it, because Matt Cutts said DC on same domain wouldnīt hurt your rankings, but I think that is not true.
Now, where is the best target to link to with the canonical tag.
Should all the widgets link with the canonical tag to a list with all the widgets with the same color, Manufacturer and Typ are in?
Or should the canonical tag link to one widget I choose myself?
As I understand is the canonical tag only a hint for google to choose a best site but they decide from query to query if they show a site that has the canonical tag, too.
Since Aprilī12 panada update a very similar site to mine ranks for nearly every query to that widget. They have about 400x similar widgets and have no canonical tag and the title is constructed similar to my title. This site has multiple positions in serps and was prepanda not to be found in serps.