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Losing Imdex Pages


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8 replies to this topic

#1 CyberMatrix

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 08:07 AM

New to the forum and I have built many sites that rank well and never had this issue before so I'm lost after checking out every possible issue I can think to look into. The site is built using x cart and CDSEO Pro mod. I contacted the developer of the mod and he looked into the site and he does not see why this should be happening. He suggested for me to post here for advice. Google did have over 1500 pages index a month ago and now we are down to a little more than 200.

Looking in the webmaster tool kit I do not see anything out of order.

I would appreciate any ideas as to why you might think this is happening. For the last several weeks I have been building links to the site but they are being built slowly. When I started building links the site had 15 links now we are almost at 100. This is over a 3 week period. The links are coming from articles I have written, a few blog posting and directories. I'm not linking to just the home page, in the articles and blog post I'm linking back to category pages or product pages.

As I have been building links I have been fixing the category pages to be focus on specific keywords.


Thanks for your time.

Mike

#2 OldWelshGuy

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 09:04 AM

I have noticed this across loads of Ecommerce sites lately, especially if they are pulling from a central database. I have had about a dozen people contact me in the last 3 months with the same problem, and in all cases they were pulling data from a datafeed of a supplier.

Is this your case? I understand that a site can be completely different, but the only link I found was common dat feeds being used across multiple sites.

#3 CyberMatrix

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 11:11 AM

QUOTE(OldWelshGuy @ Sep 24 2009, 10:04 AM) View Post
I have noticed this across loads of Ecommerce sites lately, especially if they are pulling from a central database. I have had about a dozen people contact me in the last 3 months with the same problem, and in all cases they were pulling data from a datafeed of a supplier.

Is this your case? I understand that a site can be completely different, but the only link I found was common dat feeds being used across multiple sites.


I'm not using a data feed from suppliers. The suppliers provide me a spreadsheet of the products and I'm sure it is the same as they are providing to competitors.

With that said I have looked at a few competitor sites I have studied and notice they are losing a lot of pages also. It appears the competitor sites and my site are losing the product pages but Google is keeping the category pages. Our product pages have the core information of the product such as description, color and size options with other content on each product page to make them different for each other. So do you think since our sites have the same core information about the products is why this is happening?

#4 Michael Martinez

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 12:49 PM

QUOTE(CyberMatrix @ Sep 24 2009, 09:11 AM) View Post
I'm not using a data feed from suppliers. The suppliers provide me a spreadsheet of the products and I'm sure it is the same as they are providing to competitors.

With that said I have looked at a few competitor sites I have studied and notice they are losing a lot of pages also. It appears the competitor sites and my site are losing the product pages but Google is keeping the category pages. Our product pages have the core information of the product such as description, color and size options with other content on each product page to make them different for each other. So do you think since our sites have the same core information about the products is why this is happening?


That does sound like a possibility. It's impossible to know for sure.

Do you include unique content on each of your product listing pages?


#5 OldWelshGuy

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 02:41 PM

QUOTE(CyberMatrix @ Sep 24 2009, 12:11 PM) View Post
I'm not using a data feed from suppliers. The suppliers provide me a spreadsheet of the products and I'm sure it is the same as they are providing to competitors.

With that said I have looked at a few competitor sites I have studied and notice they are losing a lot of pages also. It appears the competitor sites and my site are losing the product pages but Google is keeping the category pages. Our product pages have the core information of the product such as description, color and size options with other content on each product page to make them different for each other. So do you think since our sites have the same core information about the products is why this is happening?


yep, that was exactly what I was saying. When I said 'data feed' probably the wrong choice of words,I meant a common feed from the supplier. How it is delivered isn't the issue, it is the similarity of the data that matters.

I did for a moment consider that Google were dropping these pages to push people to use their products search facility, But that is creeping into tin foil hat territory smile.gif

#6 CyberMatrix

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 03:51 PM

QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ Sep 24 2009, 01:49 PM) View Post
That does sound like a possibility. It's impossible to know for sure.

Do you include unique content on each of your product listing pages?



I have been using what the suppliers provide and adding additional information on the product pages that make my product pages unique. It sounds like the best thing to do is rewrite the descriptions of product which sell best and get those in the search engines.

#7 adibranch

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Posted 10 October 2009 - 07:41 AM

this is an inherent flaw with e-commerce packages and those who use them. Yes, the reason why your pages are dissapearing is due to similarity, but in general it will not because of your content gathered from manufacturer descriptions and their similarity on other sites, but will be down to your product and category pages within the site being too similar to one another due to the way the package is put together in terms of SEO (ie badly). Even the developed and written SEO addons are appalingly bad. Meta descriptions are normally copied across pages with only one or two word changes, as is templating built around the page.
Of course writing our own descriptions will help, not only to make them unique from other sites, but also because you can tailor them to the keyterms in ways that the original manufacturer description doesnt do. Not only that, but when you copy and paste from manufcaturers sites you also tend to bring in a lot of excess code which may kill your code flow.

The solution to the page issue is to go custom in your SEO appraoch. If you cant do it, or your web designer cant do it. find someone who can. I've spent four years doing this with OSC, building and building each time and its now pretty near perfect. Unfortunately i dont know X-cart or i'd offer to help.

The key is to make each page as different as possible from the next one, in terms of metas, product descriptions, variations in template, images, links and more. Apply this to both your category pages AND your product pages and you should see your number of indexed pages rise. Remember to give a good opening paragraph for your product and categories for a start.

PM me if you want an example site...

Edited by adibranch, 10 October 2009 - 12:08 PM.


#8 Michael-F

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 11:43 AM

We've been going through something similar where we dropped from about 200k indexed pages to about 60k. Unfortunately it's pretty impractical to get unique descriptions for each of our 400,000 products - especially since there are no manufacturer-provided descriptions on most of them.

We've relied on setting up our titles and meta descriptions to be a little bit different from each other in the past, but it looks like that's not as effective anymore.

Luckily, it doesn't look like it's affecting traffic or sales substantially. I'm sure it does hurt a bit on the long tail for very specific searches, though.

#9 Randy

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 01:01 PM

I can't say it's a for sure thing, however I have noticed on three sites I've been asked to look at recently that Big G does seem to be getting a bit more discriminant about which pages are in their main index vs their supplemental index. But in the cases I'm looking at a site: type of search still shows the pages as being indexed. Just that they're not showing up for their (usually longer tail) search phrases.

It's early in my look into what's happening, but at this point the only thing I've identified as being a commonality is that there's just not much written content on those pages I'm seeing as not standing a decent chance a ranking well. In the case of all of the ones I'm looking at we're talking maybe a short paragraph of content (3-5 sentences) with the rest of the normal nav elements that are on every other page. Though I can't say the same thing would happen if filler content that was duped on many other pages being treated the same way since none of these three sites have anything like that on any pages.

I'm going to have the site owners run a little test by adding some more unique content to these category level pages to see if that gets them in the main index. Hopefully it does have a positive effect, but we'll see.




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