Prevent E-Commerce Filter Pages from Holding Your Website Back – Alchemy Intercative

Reasons Why E-commerce Filter Pages Are Holding Your Website Back

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It’s an undisputed fact that e-commerce websites need filter pages for the convenience of customers. It makes navigation very easy for them and most importantly, helps them with finding exactly what they are looking for.

For instance, you are looking for a hat, the website will have the following URL:

And then if you are looking at red hat

And then if you are looking at red hat from a specific brand

However, this does not work for the website as great as it does for the customer. How?

1. Contentious Content

Since each URL contains same content as generated by per user’s preferences, it can be seen as duplicated content by Google, making it difficult to rank it within the SERP.

Google needs a link between the URL and the unique content on it. With the same content on different URLs because of the filter pages, it confuses Google and hence website rankings and performance within the SERPs can nose dive. How?

To begin with, it makes it difficult for Google to know which version of the page has to be ranked for a specific query of the user. Moreover, there are off-site metrics as well, such as links which can get lost as Google wouldn’t know which page should be ascribed to the link value.

Also, another key point is that E-commerce websites tend to have a lot of products and hence they are usually divided into different pages. For instance, it would look something like this

And this again means duplicated content.

However, as per Google Search Central, the tech giant have updated their terms on how they see rel=”next” and rel=”prev” for paginated web pages. The term “Rel=prev/next” is no longer used as an indexing signal anymore.

Earlier this was used to sort pagination, and while Google is now better at recognising pagination, it is important for webmasters managing paging of the website. And why we say that?

2. Crawl Budget Crisis

It is because the more the filters the more the URLs. It will cut deep on the crawling budget, pulling your website down. As we all know, crawl budget is the number of pages Google crawls and indexes within a specific timeframe. And while this depends on type of website, this surely has implications for e-commerce website as mentioned above, pagination and filter pages are a factor.

So, when the website pages are a lot more, many major of your website can be possibly excluded from indexing, and this SEO issue can lead to a dramatic fall in organic traffic.

3. Keyword Competition

Speaking of SEO, Keyword competition becomes a factor as different pages compete for ranking in SERPs for the same search query by the users. This confuses Google on what to include in results or what to exclude. And consequently, an undesired page can get the ranking instead. It becomes a factor in SEO as an important page may be excluded from the indexing and result in poor performance of the page – and your business.

How to fix it?

Now we know that E-commerce websites have to have filter pages. Customer is the first priority, isn’t it? However, it doesn’t mean we cannot work on the issue.

So, now that we know of what can hold it back, we can work on fixing these.

Here are some pointers:

1. Handling the Crawl Budget:Handling the crawl budget in an effective way is the first step. It can be done in many ways such as improving upon the page speed and pages with unique content. This will ensure that Google will find reasons to visit your website more and as a result crawl more pages on your website, increase the crawl budget and indexing the pages just right. This means that your website will have a high indexation rate on Google so that important pages will be picked up.

In fact, Google routinely shares tips on these as well. You can optimize your URLs with the help of these tips by Google itself.

2. URL Parameter Tools:The URL parameter tools help in excluding selected pages from the index which ensures Google won't crawl them and hence optimizing the crawl budget for high value webpages of your website, effectively overcoming the filter page barrier. However, this will mean that a sizeable chunk of organic traffic will be removed as well. So, consult the experts before making such configurations.

3. Overhauling Navigation:This is similar to how URL tools work. In this segment, we are looking at the pages you want to get indexed by Google. There are certain techniques you can consider such as:

  • “Nofollow” internal links – This tag informs Google to not visit links that are unimportant for it to crawl
  • Noindex, follow” – Google is told here to not index certain pages, but to keep crawling the desired pages
  • JavaScript – This setup ensures that a faceted navigation limits URLs being changed so that using only a single and unique URL is created if possible

The above are some of the tools or strategies one can use. But It is important to note that each e-commerce website has its wo challenges and hence there is no one answer. There are many other tools you can use to counter the issues presented by filter pages.

So, if you still find it this a bit too technical then allow our SEO team to help you – get in touch with us for more on SEO and its various tools and strategies.

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