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How To Help Google Rank Products With Duplicate Descriptions

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How To Help Google Rank Products With Duplicate Descriptions


Google’s John Mueller addressed the question of how Google handles product descriptions that are the same for different merchandise, resulting in duplicate content. Mueller downplayed anything negative happening from the duplicate content and offered offered creative suggestions on how to help Google do a better job of ranking product pages for products that are largely similar.

Different Products But Same Descriptions

The person asking the question was concerned about how Google would handle ranking  ecommerce web pages for different products that have a similar description.

This specific situation involved handmade shoes for a specific age group that are created with the same material and techniques, with the only variation being in the design of the shoe.

The question asked was:

“Would it be counted as duplicate content by Google if I write one …high quality product description for all?

Or is it better to have unique descriptions for each one, which reduces the quality of the content?”

John Mueller Advises What To Do About Duplicate Product Descriptions

Unique Content Does Not Reduce Content Quality

Mueller began his answer by expressing doubt about whether unique content might reduce the quality of the content. He asserted that product descriptions could be both unique and high quality.

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Google Doesn’t Demote Sites For Duplicate Content

John Mueller next returned to the main question about duplicate content.

Mueller continued:

“We would probably see this as duplicate content but we would not demote a website because of duplicate content.

So from a practical point of view, what would happen is if someone is searching for a piece of text that is within this duplicated description on your pages, then we would recognize that this piece of text is found on a bunch of pages on your website and we would try to just pick maybe one or two pages from your website to show.

So it’s not that we would demote your website or… penalize the website in any way because it has duplicate content.”

Doesn’t Make Sense to Show Multiple Pages Of Same Content

Mueller next explained that it’s simply a practical consideration why Google limits the number of similar pages from the same site that are shown in the search results.

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John Mueller said:

“It’s more from a practical point of view we recognize you have this content on a lot of your pages.

So if someone is searching specifically for that content it doesn’t make sense for us to show all of those pages.

And that’s… reasonable when people are searching for a piece of content.

They don’t need to find all of the pages within your website that have that piece of content.”

How to Help Google Rank Similar Products

Mueller next stressed the importance of using text to explain what the products look like. He cautioned that failure to adequately describe what a product looks like may have a negative effect on search presence.

Mueller continued his answer with this bit of cautionary advice:

“The thing I think to… watch out for here is if you don’t have anything in the textual content at all that covers… the visual element of your products, then it makes it very hard for us to actually show these properly in the search results.

So for example, you mentioned you have handmade shoes. If you have blue shoes and red shoes and you never mentioned which color these shoes are in, then if someone is searching for blue shoes, we might think, well your pages are not that relevant because you don’t mention the word blue anywhere on your pages.

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So that’s… the angle I would take here is it’s fine to have parts of the description duplicated. But I would definitely make sure that you at least have something in there that really has text about the visual elements that are unique to those individual products that you’re selling.

So that’s kind of the direction I would go.”

Duplicate Content Makes It Hard For Google To Rank Pages

Mueller said that Google won’t demote a site for duplicate content. But he also said that a lack of text content that describes the visual quality of a product makes it harder for Google to rank those pages.

So if the products descriptions of similar products are the same, try to find the words to accurately describe the big and small things that make the individual product different, like what its intended use is, but John especially encouraged ecommerce publishers to focus on writing text that describes what makes the one product visually different from another product.

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How Google Deals With Duplicate Product Descriptions

Watch at 45:10 Minute Mark

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Current Trends in Email Marketing: Tips & Pitfalls [Podcast]

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Current Trends in Email Marketing: Tips & Pitfalls [Podcast]

Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach your audience. However, staying up-to-date on the latest trends is crucial to avoiding common mistakes.

Jay Schwedelson, the founder of SubjectLine.com, joins me on the SEJShow to discuss subject line techniques you should be testing, key tips for conversions, and pitfalls to avoid.

You’ll discover new options to stay ahead of the curve and how to make the most out of your email marketing.

You’re not going to get more business by sending less. That’s not the way it works. You need to send more. Marketers think they send too much, but they’re just not sending relevant stuff. –Jay Schwedelson, 6:50

Technology has changed in the last five to seven years, and the reason you go to the inbox versus the junk folder is not because of the content. It’s not because of the words or symbols that you’re putting in your subject line. It’s because of your sending reputation. It’s because of the engagement, the opens, and the clicks you’re generating with the people in your database. Your engagement is the reason you’re going to the inbox or not. –Jay Schwedelson, 8:58

You go in the junk folder because you have a bad sending reputation. You have no engagement. The misconception of spam trigger words hurts marketers because they’re trying to write subject lines, not utilizing the words that all marketers know to work the best –things like free or expires. –Jay Schwedelson, 9:47

[00:00] – About Jay.
[03:02] – What is the Guru Conference?
[08:15] – Common email myths.
[11:10] – Does purging & getting unsubscribes help with ratios?
[15:24] – Email triggers words that are not okay.
[19:24] – Using emojis in subject lines.
[23:13] – What are Friendly Forms?
[26:01] – Importance of personal names & avatars.
[29:10] – How important is a subject line in outreach emails?
[33:15] – How personalized can we get with email marketing?
[37:10] – How important is it to get the CTA above the fold?
[40:25] – Holiday email marketing tips.
[45:24] – How to avoid getting into the promotions folder of Gmail.

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Resources mentioned:

Guru Conference – https://guruconference.com/
Subject Line – https://www.subjectline.com/
Outcome Media – https://outcomemedia.com/
Inside Scoop – https://jayschwedelson.com/

Email marketing here at SEJ is one of our cores. It’s one of our most significant pillars in terms of marketing. –Loren Baker, 4:57

You don’t have to get any negative repercussions from an unsubscribe. You get negative repercussions from spam complaints which only occur if you’re doing some sketchy stuff. –Jay Schwedelson, 12:44

If they’re going to unsubscribe, they will never buy anything from you. So, therefore, they send the offer because they’re looking and waiting for something. –Loren Baker, 5:46

For more content like this, subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/searchenginejournal

Connect with Jay Schwedelson:

Email marketing expert Jay Schwedelson is one of the best in the business. Founder of the #1 rated subject line grading tool, Subjectline.com, he’s evaluated over 15 million subjects and helped 200 thousand marketers send out their message effectively!

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Also, as the President and CEO of Outcome Media, Jay has helped some of the most iconic brands in the world to become even more successful. With his innovative solutions, he knows what it takes for your business to soar.

Connect with Jay on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/schwedelson/

Connect with Loren Baker, Founder of Search Engine Journal:

Follow him on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/lorenbaker
Connect with him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorenbaker

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