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Expert advice needed for ecommerce SEO

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by rapidecommerce, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. rapidecommerce

    rapidecommerce Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Hi guys

    I consider myself to be of intermediate understanding when it comes to the finer points of SEO, however I'd like to ask a few questions as there are a few things I'm not sure about. I appreciate any input you can provide, and thank you in advance for your time.

    My first question is about duplicate content on large multi-category ecommerce sites. Lets say for example I run a website selling car parts. Lets assume the site sells wiper blades for all makes and models, and that the categorisation runs as follows:

    Home page > car make and model (x400) > wiper blade brands (x3) > individual product pages (400x3) = 1200 product pages

    If I were to create a single product description for each wiper blade brand and duplicate it on the corresponding product pages, I'd end up with 3 different product descriptions, each duplicated 400 times on the site. For this I would fully expect to get slapped by a Panda penalty. You with me so far? Ok, lets say the site sells 10 different categories of product for each car model. For example wiper blades, bulbs, car mats, air filters........ you get the idea. The categorisation would now look like this:


    • Home page > car make and model (x400) > wiper blade brands (x3) > individual product pages (400x3) = 1200 product pages
    • Home page > car make and model (x400) > bulb brands (x5) > individual product pages (400x5) = 2000 product pages
    • Home page > car make and model (x400) > car mats (x2) > individual product pages (400x2) = 800 product pages
    • Home page > car make and model (x400) > air filters (x6) > individual product pages (400x6) = 2400 product pages

    And so on.................. So over 10 categories we're looking at about 16,000 product pages. If each brand still has its own unique product description, this would equal roughly 40 different descriptions, each duplicated 400 times. Still with me? What I want to know, is would 40 different descriptions be enough to avoid Panda? I know the obvious answer is that the site is still full of duplicate content, but let me show you the evidence as to why this might not be the case.

    This website is riddled with duplicate content
    http://www.carmats4u.com/

    But it has survived just fine (search 'car mats' on Google.co.uk). I think its because the products are split into lots of different categories, so although the content is still duplicated many times, there are enough different blocks of duplicate content to overcome this.

    This site is also riddled with duplicate content
    http://www.madmotors.co.uk/

    For example look at the induction kit section. But the site still ranks, in fact its top of Google.co.uk for the term 'body kits', a very competitive term. What do you think? Am I off the mark here? I know the sites above have decent link profiles and are well established, but if Ebay can get slapped by Panda then surely these sites should have been, but they haven't?

    On a different note, anyone know how or why this site hasn't been Panda slapped? Not even once?
    http://www.cyberspares.co.uk/

    My second question is about link building for ecommerce sites. I basically have to buy links, or manufacture them through forums. My product isn't exciting enough to link to, and no-one links to ecommerce sites anyway. If a site has 400 product pages split between 50 categories, it is simply not viable to buy or build links to every page. It takes too long, especially for a company that runs 20-30 sites. What do you guys do? Link to the home page? To the category pages? If I ultimately want the product pages to achieve good rankings, can linking to pages higher up in the categorisation achieve this, or does each product page need some high quality links?

    My third and final question is about affiliate SEO. Lets say two sites are completely equal from an SEO point of view, but one has a traditional add to cart ecommerce function, and the other has affiliate links instead. Would they both rank equally?
     
  2. sumon2k7

    sumon2k7 Junior Member

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    Dude, Your questions spin my head off :)..Can you hop over skype for a quick call? Talking is the best way to understand your problem. Probably I can help you.
     
  3. rapidecommerce

    rapidecommerce Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Hi, I appreciate your input but I cant jump on Skype right now.

    To make it simpler to understand what I'm asking, ignore the post above and see what you make of the second part only, below......................

    This website is riddled with duplicate content
    http://www.carmats4u.com/

    But it has survived just fine (search 'car mats' on Google.co.uk). I think its because the products are split into lots of different categories, so although the content is still duplicated many times, there are enough different blocks of duplicate content to overcome this.

    This site is also riddled with duplicate content
    http://www.madmotors.co.uk/

    For example look at the induction kit section. But the site still ranks, in fact its top of Google.co.uk for the term 'body kits', a very competitive term. What do you think? Am I off the mark here? I know the sites above have decent link profiles and are well established, but if Ebay can get slapped by Panda then surely these sites should have been, but they haven't?

    On a different note, anyone know how or why this site hasn't been Panda slapped? Not even once?
    http://www.cyberspares.co.uk/

    My second question is about link building for ecommerce sites. I basically have to buy links, or manufacture them through forums. My product isn't exciting enough to link to, and no-one links to ecommerce sites anyway. If a site has 400 product pages split between 50 categories, it is simply not viable to buy or build links to every page. It takes too long, especially for a company that runs 20-30 sites. What do you guys do? Link to the home page? To the category pages? If I ultimately want the product pages to achieve good rankings, can linking to pages higher up in the categorisation achieve this, or does each product page need some high quality links?

    My third and final question is about affiliate SEO. Lets say two sites are completely equal from an SEO point of view, but one has a traditional add to cart ecommerce function, and the other has affiliate links instead. Would they both rank equally?
     
  4. donkdiddly

    donkdiddly Junior Member

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    San Antonio
    I just started an affiliate e-commerce site a few months back and have been doing a lot of different things I would normally do for a regular niche service website's keywords. That hasn't seemed to help. I have seen most success when the internal linking is on point and the majority of my efforts are focused at the homepage around a ton of different keywords.

    Google knows there is duplicate content issues when it comes to products around the web and won't hold you back because of it. If you could change all the product descriptions you would definitely have an advantage but nobody's got time for that! You definitely won't be punished for having the same descriptions as another site.

    Just make sure your link profile is stronger than your competitors. After that, spread a ton of social signals to a couple thousand different pages. (just copy/paste a from a sitemap .txt generator)

    Bonus: If you have SENuke or GSA or something... use that list to put a few links towards some random product pages of the site each day. (makes it look natural)