Follow Along

RSS Feed Join Us on Twitter On Facebook

Get Engaged


Featured Article

What Content Writers can learn from SkyMallWhat Content Writers can learn from SkyMallThere are few things more fun and more entertaining on a plane, than reading SkyMall. Sure, it’s interesting to see what...

Latest Comments

Latest Articles

Do All Your Actions Support your Content Strategy?Do All Your Actions Support...
There's an old proverb that says “He who fails to plan, plans to fail”....
The Road to Great ContentThe Road to Great Content
There's been a distinct explosion in SEO spiel over the last year or so with...
Nope, Content Is Still King: Strategies for Successful Content OptimizationNope, Content Is Still King:...
There are plenty of forms of SEO that can make a website successful. However,...

Our Sponsors


Latest Search Videos

Join Us

Why Panda Hates Ecommerce
Monday, 07 January 2013 05:31

Google launched the Panda algorithm in February of 2011, targeting so-called content farms. Content farms are large sites containing articles written by multiple authors and optimized for search engine results. Farm revenue comes from click-through ads.

panda hates ecommerce

Overall, content farms offer little to readers. Writing quality tends to be poor, of low word count and often duplicates other sources. Panda dealt such sites a serious blow, reducing traffic in many cases by more than 60 percent.

How Panda Affects Ecommerce

Unfortunately, ecommerce sites share many of the elements of content farms. A commerce site tends to have multiple pages, one page for each product. Once you factor in size, color and other customer choices, it's possible to have multiple pages for the same product.

A product page focuses on images and typically has a low word count. Additionally, many retailers copy and paste product descriptions from manufacturer's sites.

More than one SEO company quickly realized--with a sick feeling, I'm sure--Panda would mistake ecommerce sites for content farms, resulting in sudden drops in traffic and profit losses.

Responding to Panda

You can’t argue with Google--it's their sandbox. If you want to play, you have to play by their rules, even when they kick over your sandcastle. Your only course of action is to make your ecommerce site as Panda-friendly as possible.

Adding Unique Content and Word Count

Product pages may need rewriting for higher word counts. This raises a few problems. Writing 400 plus words of unique content on a toothbrush or paper napkins is a copywriter's nightmare. Multiply the problem by every page on your site and you're left with a Herculean task.

You have several options. First, if you copied and pasted a manufacturer's description, re-write it. Even if you can only manage a 150-word product description, at least it's a unique description, and less likely to arouse the Panda's wrath.

Give site visitors the opportunity to write reviews directly on the comment page. Reviews add word count to the page, and Google sees them as relevant content.

Remove Duplications

Here's a common Panda trap. A product may come in different shapes, sizes and colors. Many retailers create a different page for each option. For instance, retailers selling a toothbrush with pink, green, blue, orange and red color options may create a different page for each color option.

While each page may have a different picture of the toothbrush, the product description and content will be essentially the same. Therefore, while site visitors see a site designed to help them make the best purchasing decisions, all Panda sees is duplicate content.

Panda no like duplicate content. Panda smash. Raarrrgh!

Sorry about that. Sometimes dealing with Google feels like tiptoeing around the Incredible Hulk. Anyway, the point is multiple pages for the same product don’t sit well with Google. Instead, give consumers the ability to choose product options from pull-down menus or at checkout, so you can collapse multiple product pages into a single page.

One last suggestion: Do you have product pages that never get visited? If a product hasn't sold for over twelve months, remove it from the website. All it's doing is increasing your risk of Panda penalties.

Last Updated on Monday, 07 January 2013 06:15


+1 #1 Ernesto 2013-01-07 17:16
Tha "duplicate content" issue seems to be the hardest to overcome. Personally I'm creating one informative page on the product and different sub pages with the order links for each blue, black, white and green product. As for now it seems to be working :-)
+1 #2 rachel 2013-01-07 20:10
I had a client meeting recently and its a 2 year old ecommerce website. After auditing the website I recommended quality content and unique content for different pages. He simply laughed at me and shot back asking what to write for blue bucket and red bucket. All I managed to tell only UGC can help in that case.

Add comment

Security code

Getting Around the Site

Home - all the latest on SNC
SEO - our collection of SEO articles
Technical SEO - for the geeks
Latest News - latest news in search
Analytics - measure up and convert
RSS Rack - feeds from around the industry
Search - looking for something specific?
Authors - Author Login
SEO Training - Our sister site
Contact Us - get in touch with SNC

What's New?

All content and images copyright Search News Central 2014
SNC is a Verve Developments production, the Forensic SEO Specialists- where Gypsies roam.