Attack of the Panda – Ecommerce Websites Drop in SERP
After the first Panda wave that swept across article directories and other content farms we knew that it’s not going to end there. Any website with massive amount of pages and content, especially the ones with duplicate content, like ecommerce websites, would be hurt eventually. According to latest analysis ecommerce websites have suffered a blow due to this Google update.
The first thing that we can notice on ecommerce websites is that not the entire website suffers, but only certain type of pages, in other words, product pages. Most ecommerce websites are have duplicate content issue that is hard to deal with without proper canonization, so while product pages suffer, category pages remain in the SERP as they were.
But that is far from being the only reason why ecommerce website suffered from the latest Google update. The things ecommerce website owners should be trying to fix, aside from duplicate content or the fact that a small portion of their content is unique or of quality. Also, since they have massive amounts of pages they have massive amounts of the same links suffocating the same pages.
While a great number of links pointing to one page from external sources can be good for your rankings, it can sometimes prove the other way around when there is a massive number of internal links pointing to one page. Another thing is that due to so many pages it often happens that the pages that do have unique and quality content are buried deep inside the site structure on pages that are not indexed. So what that means is that the quality content that can rank and show the search engines that there is something of quality on their site is often hidden from spiders and cannot get into the SERP.
There is plenty of keyword suffocation or cannibalization as well. Pages outranking one another, multiple pages, in some cases dozens or hundreds of pages that are competition against each other for the same keyword.
Everyone in the SEO world knows these issues with ecommerce websites and that is hard to correct these mistakes and make it work. So our guess is that ecommerce websites, although always in need of SEO, will now be knocking at consultant’s and SEO companies doors and hiring in mass numbers as the years of warning had no influence on them, which is why they now suffer the Google update. The last part makes it sound like a diseases, and it is, a diseases that only attacks low quality and duplicate content.