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FACETED NAVIGATION 
FOR SEO: TECHNICAL TRICKS 
TO BOOST YOUR VISIBILITY 
Alec Bertram 
Founder 
@AllotmentDgtl 
http://allotment.digital 
Michal 
Head of Product 
@DeepCrawl 
http://deepcrawl.com 
#CrawlChat
Today 
The common issues with category systems, which mean that 
ecommerce sites don’t rank as well as they could. 
How you can identify issues with your site and how to fix them. 
• How search engines work 
• Common crawl & indexation issues 
• Common issues in ecommerce sites 
• Case studies: Motolegends, House of Fraser 
• Detecting and monitoring problems with DeepCrawl 
• Fixing your facet system
Facets
How Search Engines Work
How search engines 
work 
CRAWLER 
INDEXER 
INDEX 
QUERY 
+ 
RANKER
Common Crawl & Indexation Issues
Crawl budget and 
waste 
PR: 1 
PR: 0.25 
PR: 0.09 
PR: 0.005
Let’s talk about 
dresses 
URL: /dresses 
Title: Dresses – Buy Top Designer Dresses | Brand 
Description: Shop the Dresses range from our Women's department…. 
Dresses 
Type 
Evening 
Party 
Summer 
Day 
Brand 
DKNY 
Karen Millen 
Colour 
Red 
Black 
Our dresses are great for all 
occasions!
Duplication
Duplication 
URL: /dresses/evening 
Title: Dresses – Buy Top Designer Dresses | Brand 
Description: Shop the Dresses range from our Women's department…. 
Dresses 
Type 
Evening 
Party 
Summer 
Day 
Brand 
DKNY 
Karen Millen 
Colour 
Red 
Black 
Our dresses are great for all 
occasions!
Duplication 
Dresses 
Dresses 
/dresses 
/dresses/evening 
/dresses/summer 
Dresses 
/dresses/party 
Dresses 
/dresses/evening/dkny 
Dresses 
/dresses/evening/dion 
Dresses 
/dresses/evening/v-beckham 
Dresses
Under-indexation
Under-indexation 
URL: /dresses/evening 
Canonical: /dresses 
or Robots: noindex 
…or: 
Dresses 
Type 
Evening 
Party 
Summer 
Day 
Brand 
DKNY 
Karen Millen 
Colour 
Red 
Black 
URL: /dresses#evening 
Page content changed with JS 
Our dresses are great for all 
occasions!
Over-indexation
Over-indexation 
URL: /dresses/evening+party/dkny+karen-millen/red+black 
Red or Black DKNY and Karen 
Millen Evening and Party 
Dresses 
Type 
Evening 
Party 
Summer 
Day 
Brand 
DKNY 
Karen Millen 
Colour 
Red 
Black
Getting your indexation right gives you the 
opportunity to rank for a wider set of terms
Improve chances to 
Pages about: 
DKNY Evening Dresses 
DKNY Dresses 
rank
Improve chances to 
rank 
Before: Now: 
Term Volume 
Dresses 823, 000 
Term Volume 
Dresses 823, 000 
Evening dresses 165, 000 
Summer dresses 135, 000 
Party dresses 165, 000 
DKNY Evening Dresses 50 
DIOR evening dresses 170 
Victoria Beckham 
110 
evening dresses 
Get more visibility by increasing the number of pages relevant 
to longer-tail terms
Motolegends: Under indexation Case Study 
The lost revenue of under-indexation
Under-indexation
Potential incremental 
… 
revenue 
Potential £88k incremental revenue by opening two facets on one category 
Assuming: 
- 9% CTR at position 1 to 5 
- 2% Conversion rate 
- Average order value taken from price point of each helmet
Under-indexation Case Study 
Which product attributes have you missed?
Under-indexation 
Not crawlable
Under-indexation
Under-indexation 
Currently no filters for: 
Model (Radeon/ GeForce) 
Memory Capacity (2GB) 
Memory Type (GDDR5) 
Connector (PCI-E) 
Frequency (5000MHz) 
Output (DVI/HDMI)
Under-indexation 
This site should also have indexable pages and filters for: 
• Model (Radeon/ GeForce) 
• Memory Capacity (2GB) 
• Memory Type (GDDR5) 
• Connector (PCI-E) 
• Frequency (5000MHz) 
• Output (DVI/HDMI)
House of Fraser: Almost-perfect 
Implementation
Almost perfect 
URL: womens dresses (not the actual URL) 
Content: Dresses
Almost perfect 
URL: womens dresses/cocktail 
Content: Cocktail Dresses
Almost perfect 
URL: womens dresses/cocktail/phase-eight 
Content: Phase eight Cocktail Dresses
Almost perfect 
Nofollow prevents search crawlers from discovering 
multi-selected facets. 
No “Cocktail or Maxi Dresses” 
Can discover multi-dimensional facets. 
“Phase Eight Cocktail Dresses”
Almost perfect 
3 filters selected = crawlable and indexable 
4 filters selected = not crawlable but indexable
Almost perfect 
URL: womens dresses/cocktail/phase-eight/black or gold 
Content: Dresses 
Crawlers can not reach this page through this site, but can be linked to from elsewhere 
Recommendation: noindex or canonicalise these pages to an indexable parent to prevent index bloat when 
search crawlers do discover them another way
Detecting and monitoring facet problems 
with DeepCrawl
Under-indexation
Under-indexation
Under-indexation
Heavy 
Canonicalisation
Infinite Indexation
Infinite Indexation
Using Robots.txt
Testing Robots.txt
Heavy Duplication
Detecting Duplication 
Use Reports Matches Search to identify URL 
patterns that cause Duplication 
Create Issue for each 
of the patterns 
Track the Issue over time 
Identify all patterns by using “Does not 
match” to exclude already known issues
Example Duplication Identify Duplicate Pages 
Use DeepRank 
to identify 
Primary Page
Detecting Duplication 
3 types of Duplication: 
• Duplicate Pages 
• Titles are Duplicated 
• Body Content is Duplicated (almost Identical) 
• Duplicate Titles 
• Titles are Duplicated 
• Body Content is Unique 
• Duplicate Body Content 
• Titles are Identical 
• Body Content is Duplicated (almost Identical)
Over-indexation
Empty Pages 
Use Extraction to get the number of 
products per Facet Selection (Search Results) 
and identify EMPTY PAGES
Empty Pages
Crawling a Test Site
Perfect Architecture
Fixing Your Facet System
Fixing your facet system 
1. Market Keyword Research 
Find product attributes people actually search for 
2. Business Case 
Calculate the potential revenue uplift and build a business case 
3. Functional Specification 
Create the functional spec and work with developers to ensure it’s 
perfect
Find the product attributes 
people actually search for 
• Internal site search 
• Customer query data 
• Manufacturer spec sheets 
• Primary research 
• Keyword idea tools
Build a business case 
Ideal category page list 
+ 
Current rankings 
+ 
Search volume and CTR Curve 
+ 
Current conversion rate and AOV 
= 
Potential Incremental Revenue
Ideal category page behaviour
Unique meta & 
headings 
URL: /dresses/evening 
Title: Evening Dresses – Stunning Designer Evening Dresses | Brand 
Description: Evening Dresses from top designers…. 
Evening Dresses 
Type 
Evening 
Party 
Summer 
Day 
Brand 
DKNY 
Karen Millen 
Colour 
Red 
Black 
Our evening dresses are perfect for 
that soirée.
Unique pages for 
facet permutations 
URL: /dresses/evening/dkny/red 
Title: Evening Dresses – Stunning Designer Evening Dresses | Brand 
Description: Evening Dresses from top designers…. 
Red DKNY Evening Dresses 
Type 
Evening 
Party 
Summer 
Day 
Brand 
DKNY 
Karen Millen 
Colour 
Red 
Black 
Stunning red evening dresses by 
Donna Karen.
…but not all of them 
URL: /dresses/evening+party/dkny+karen-millen/red+black 
Title: ??? 
Description: ??? 
Red or Black DKNY and 
Karen Millen Evening and 
Party Dresses 
Type 
Evening 
Party 
Summer 
Day 
Brand 
DKNY 
Karen Millen 
Colour 
Red 
Black
Only one facet in each 
section indexable 
URL: /dresses/evening+party/dkny+karen-millen/red+blue 
Canonical: /dresses/evening/dkny/red/ 
Robots: noindex 
Red or Blue DKNY and 
Karen Millen Evening and 
Party Dresses 
Type 
Evening 
Party 
Summer 
Day 
Brand 
DKNY 
Karen Millen 
Colour 
Red 
Black
Nofollow after first 
filter in a group 
Can crawl: Red DKNY Evening Dresses, Black DKNY Evening Dresses 
Can not crawl: DKNY Evening and Party Dresses, etc. 
Alternatively: robots.txt Disallow 
DKNY Evening Dresses 
Type 
Evening 
Party 
Summer 
Day 
Brand 
DKNY 
Karen Millen 
Colour 
Red 
Black 
Stunning evening dresses by Donna 
Karen.
Some parameters should 
never be indexable 
URL: /dresses/evening/dkny/next-day-delivery#sort:price 
Canonical: /dresses/evening/dkny 
Always nofollow non-attribute links 
DKNY Evening Dresses 
Type 
Evening 
Party 
Summer 
Day 
Brand 
DKNY 
Karen Millen 
Colour 
Red 
Black 
Next day delivery only 
Sort by: Price
Set maximum number of 
selected facet groups 
Depending on the industry, users normally search for three or four of the core 
parameters that they care about. 
We don’t need pages indexed which are about uber-specific topics. 
DKNY Silk Evening 
Sleeveless Red Size 8 
Dresses 
Type 
Evening 
Party 
Summer 
Day 
Brand 
DKNY 
Karen Millen 
Colour 
Red 
Black
Dresses 
Evening 
Dresses 
/dresses 
/dresses/evening 
/dresses/summer 
Summer 
Dresses 
/dresses/party 
Party 
Dresses 
/dresses/evening/dkny 
DKNY 
Evening 
Dresses 
/dresses/evening/dion 
Dion 
Evening 
Dresses 
/dresses/evening/v-beckham 
Beckham 
Evening 
Dresses 
All pages now compete for long tail terms
Notes 
Sometimes individual 
filters shouldn’t be 
indexable 
In the recruitment 
industry, “Full Time” is 
the default, so 
shouldn’t be indexable 
– no one uses it as a 
modifier
Notes 
When templating page headings, check & test the 
logic carefully
Notes 
You can template page headings, but generally 
shouldn’t use templated content snippets. 
“We have lots of great white dresses in our home and clothing 
category. Shop now for great savings on white dress.” 
“We have lots of great hard drives in our Electronics category. 
Shop now for great savings on hard drive.”
Notes 
Enforce URL path and parameter order consistency to prevent duplication 
/products/dresses/dkny/evening/red 
/products/dresses/dkny/red/evening 
/products/dresses/?type=evening&colour=red 
/products/dresses/?colour=red&type=evening 
Other Common URL Design Issues 
Casing /dresses/red vs /Dresses/red 
Trailing Slashes /dresses/red vs /dresses/red/ 
Internal Clicks tracking /dresses/red vs /dresses/red?click=home 
Multiparent Categories etc.
Functional spec 
1. Unique meta and content for every facet (and ensure it makes sense) 
2. Ensure main combinations are crawlable and indexable 
3. Only one selection in a filter set should be indexable 
4. Nofollow links in filter set after one is selected (alternatively robots.txt 
disallow) 
5. Enforce parameter ordering in URLs 
6. Set a maximum number of selected groups (3 - 5 depending on industry)
Next steps 
Analysis 
•Analyse whether you have an issue with your current set up 
•Research what product attributes people actually search for 
Preparation 
•Work out the potential revenue uplift by being able to rank for more terms 
•Create the functional spec for your website 
•Create crawl, traffic, visibility benchmarks 
Testing 
•Test on development site 
•Test on staging site 
•Test on production site 
•Monitor benchmarks
FACETED NAVIGATION 
FOR SEO: TECHNICAL TRICKS 
TO BOOST YOUR VISIBILITY 
Alec Bertram 
Founder 
@AllotmentDgtl 
http://allotment.digital 
Michal 
Head of Product 
@DeepCrawl 
http://deepcrawl.com 
#CrawlChat

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Faceted navigation webinar

  • 1. FACETED NAVIGATION FOR SEO: TECHNICAL TRICKS TO BOOST YOUR VISIBILITY Alec Bertram Founder @AllotmentDgtl http://allotment.digital Michal Head of Product @DeepCrawl http://deepcrawl.com #CrawlChat
  • 2. Today The common issues with category systems, which mean that ecommerce sites don’t rank as well as they could. How you can identify issues with your site and how to fix them. • How search engines work • Common crawl & indexation issues • Common issues in ecommerce sites • Case studies: Motolegends, House of Fraser • Detecting and monitoring problems with DeepCrawl • Fixing your facet system
  • 5. How search engines work CRAWLER INDEXER INDEX QUERY + RANKER
  • 6. Common Crawl & Indexation Issues
  • 7. Crawl budget and waste PR: 1 PR: 0.25 PR: 0.09 PR: 0.005
  • 8. Let’s talk about dresses URL: /dresses Title: Dresses – Buy Top Designer Dresses | Brand Description: Shop the Dresses range from our Women's department…. Dresses Type Evening Party Summer Day Brand DKNY Karen Millen Colour Red Black Our dresses are great for all occasions!
  • 10. Duplication URL: /dresses/evening Title: Dresses – Buy Top Designer Dresses | Brand Description: Shop the Dresses range from our Women's department…. Dresses Type Evening Party Summer Day Brand DKNY Karen Millen Colour Red Black Our dresses are great for all occasions!
  • 11. Duplication Dresses Dresses /dresses /dresses/evening /dresses/summer Dresses /dresses/party Dresses /dresses/evening/dkny Dresses /dresses/evening/dion Dresses /dresses/evening/v-beckham Dresses
  • 13. Under-indexation URL: /dresses/evening Canonical: /dresses or Robots: noindex …or: Dresses Type Evening Party Summer Day Brand DKNY Karen Millen Colour Red Black URL: /dresses#evening Page content changed with JS Our dresses are great for all occasions!
  • 15. Over-indexation URL: /dresses/evening+party/dkny+karen-millen/red+black Red or Black DKNY and Karen Millen Evening and Party Dresses Type Evening Party Summer Day Brand DKNY Karen Millen Colour Red Black
  • 16. Getting your indexation right gives you the opportunity to rank for a wider set of terms
  • 17. Improve chances to Pages about: DKNY Evening Dresses DKNY Dresses rank
  • 18. Improve chances to rank Before: Now: Term Volume Dresses 823, 000 Term Volume Dresses 823, 000 Evening dresses 165, 000 Summer dresses 135, 000 Party dresses 165, 000 DKNY Evening Dresses 50 DIOR evening dresses 170 Victoria Beckham 110 evening dresses Get more visibility by increasing the number of pages relevant to longer-tail terms
  • 19. Motolegends: Under indexation Case Study The lost revenue of under-indexation
  • 21. Potential incremental … revenue Potential £88k incremental revenue by opening two facets on one category Assuming: - 9% CTR at position 1 to 5 - 2% Conversion rate - Average order value taken from price point of each helmet
  • 22. Under-indexation Case Study Which product attributes have you missed?
  • 25. Under-indexation Currently no filters for: Model (Radeon/ GeForce) Memory Capacity (2GB) Memory Type (GDDR5) Connector (PCI-E) Frequency (5000MHz) Output (DVI/HDMI)
  • 26. Under-indexation This site should also have indexable pages and filters for: • Model (Radeon/ GeForce) • Memory Capacity (2GB) • Memory Type (GDDR5) • Connector (PCI-E) • Frequency (5000MHz) • Output (DVI/HDMI)
  • 27. House of Fraser: Almost-perfect Implementation
  • 28. Almost perfect URL: womens dresses (not the actual URL) Content: Dresses
  • 29. Almost perfect URL: womens dresses/cocktail Content: Cocktail Dresses
  • 30. Almost perfect URL: womens dresses/cocktail/phase-eight Content: Phase eight Cocktail Dresses
  • 31. Almost perfect Nofollow prevents search crawlers from discovering multi-selected facets. No “Cocktail or Maxi Dresses” Can discover multi-dimensional facets. “Phase Eight Cocktail Dresses”
  • 32. Almost perfect 3 filters selected = crawlable and indexable 4 filters selected = not crawlable but indexable
  • 33. Almost perfect URL: womens dresses/cocktail/phase-eight/black or gold Content: Dresses Crawlers can not reach this page through this site, but can be linked to from elsewhere Recommendation: noindex or canonicalise these pages to an indexable parent to prevent index bloat when search crawlers do discover them another way
  • 34. Detecting and monitoring facet problems with DeepCrawl
  • 44. Detecting Duplication Use Reports Matches Search to identify URL patterns that cause Duplication Create Issue for each of the patterns Track the Issue over time Identify all patterns by using “Does not match” to exclude already known issues
  • 45. Example Duplication Identify Duplicate Pages Use DeepRank to identify Primary Page
  • 46. Detecting Duplication 3 types of Duplication: • Duplicate Pages • Titles are Duplicated • Body Content is Duplicated (almost Identical) • Duplicate Titles • Titles are Duplicated • Body Content is Unique • Duplicate Body Content • Titles are Identical • Body Content is Duplicated (almost Identical)
  • 48. Empty Pages Use Extraction to get the number of products per Facet Selection (Search Results) and identify EMPTY PAGES
  • 53. Fixing your facet system 1. Market Keyword Research Find product attributes people actually search for 2. Business Case Calculate the potential revenue uplift and build a business case 3. Functional Specification Create the functional spec and work with developers to ensure it’s perfect
  • 54. Find the product attributes people actually search for • Internal site search • Customer query data • Manufacturer spec sheets • Primary research • Keyword idea tools
  • 55. Build a business case Ideal category page list + Current rankings + Search volume and CTR Curve + Current conversion rate and AOV = Potential Incremental Revenue
  • 56. Ideal category page behaviour
  • 57. Unique meta & headings URL: /dresses/evening Title: Evening Dresses – Stunning Designer Evening Dresses | Brand Description: Evening Dresses from top designers…. Evening Dresses Type Evening Party Summer Day Brand DKNY Karen Millen Colour Red Black Our evening dresses are perfect for that soirée.
  • 58. Unique pages for facet permutations URL: /dresses/evening/dkny/red Title: Evening Dresses – Stunning Designer Evening Dresses | Brand Description: Evening Dresses from top designers…. Red DKNY Evening Dresses Type Evening Party Summer Day Brand DKNY Karen Millen Colour Red Black Stunning red evening dresses by Donna Karen.
  • 59. …but not all of them URL: /dresses/evening+party/dkny+karen-millen/red+black Title: ??? Description: ??? Red or Black DKNY and Karen Millen Evening and Party Dresses Type Evening Party Summer Day Brand DKNY Karen Millen Colour Red Black
  • 60. Only one facet in each section indexable URL: /dresses/evening+party/dkny+karen-millen/red+blue Canonical: /dresses/evening/dkny/red/ Robots: noindex Red or Blue DKNY and Karen Millen Evening and Party Dresses Type Evening Party Summer Day Brand DKNY Karen Millen Colour Red Black
  • 61. Nofollow after first filter in a group Can crawl: Red DKNY Evening Dresses, Black DKNY Evening Dresses Can not crawl: DKNY Evening and Party Dresses, etc. Alternatively: robots.txt Disallow DKNY Evening Dresses Type Evening Party Summer Day Brand DKNY Karen Millen Colour Red Black Stunning evening dresses by Donna Karen.
  • 62. Some parameters should never be indexable URL: /dresses/evening/dkny/next-day-delivery#sort:price Canonical: /dresses/evening/dkny Always nofollow non-attribute links DKNY Evening Dresses Type Evening Party Summer Day Brand DKNY Karen Millen Colour Red Black Next day delivery only Sort by: Price
  • 63. Set maximum number of selected facet groups Depending on the industry, users normally search for three or four of the core parameters that they care about. We don’t need pages indexed which are about uber-specific topics. DKNY Silk Evening Sleeveless Red Size 8 Dresses Type Evening Party Summer Day Brand DKNY Karen Millen Colour Red Black
  • 64. Dresses Evening Dresses /dresses /dresses/evening /dresses/summer Summer Dresses /dresses/party Party Dresses /dresses/evening/dkny DKNY Evening Dresses /dresses/evening/dion Dion Evening Dresses /dresses/evening/v-beckham Beckham Evening Dresses All pages now compete for long tail terms
  • 65. Notes Sometimes individual filters shouldn’t be indexable In the recruitment industry, “Full Time” is the default, so shouldn’t be indexable – no one uses it as a modifier
  • 66. Notes When templating page headings, check & test the logic carefully
  • 67. Notes You can template page headings, but generally shouldn’t use templated content snippets. “We have lots of great white dresses in our home and clothing category. Shop now for great savings on white dress.” “We have lots of great hard drives in our Electronics category. Shop now for great savings on hard drive.”
  • 68. Notes Enforce URL path and parameter order consistency to prevent duplication /products/dresses/dkny/evening/red /products/dresses/dkny/red/evening /products/dresses/?type=evening&colour=red /products/dresses/?colour=red&type=evening Other Common URL Design Issues Casing /dresses/red vs /Dresses/red Trailing Slashes /dresses/red vs /dresses/red/ Internal Clicks tracking /dresses/red vs /dresses/red?click=home Multiparent Categories etc.
  • 69. Functional spec 1. Unique meta and content for every facet (and ensure it makes sense) 2. Ensure main combinations are crawlable and indexable 3. Only one selection in a filter set should be indexable 4. Nofollow links in filter set after one is selected (alternatively robots.txt disallow) 5. Enforce parameter ordering in URLs 6. Set a maximum number of selected groups (3 - 5 depending on industry)
  • 70. Next steps Analysis •Analyse whether you have an issue with your current set up •Research what product attributes people actually search for Preparation •Work out the potential revenue uplift by being able to rank for more terms •Create the functional spec for your website •Create crawl, traffic, visibility benchmarks Testing •Test on development site •Test on staging site •Test on production site •Monitor benchmarks
  • 71. FACETED NAVIGATION FOR SEO: TECHNICAL TRICKS TO BOOST YOUR VISIBILITY Alec Bertram Founder @AllotmentDgtl http://allotment.digital Michal Head of Product @DeepCrawl http://deepcrawl.com #CrawlChat

Editor's Notes

  1. MORE DETAIL
  2. THIS IS A FACET SYSTEM ALLOWS USERS TO FILTER BY KEY ATTRIBUTES THIS PAGE – DRESSES – STYLE, BRAND, SIZE COLOUR
  3. SIMPLISTIC VIEW TECHNICAL ISSUES FOCUS ON HOW SEARCH ENGINES USE YOUR SITE, GOOD TO START TO UNDERSTAND THAT
  4. 1ST, CRAWLER. SITE => TEMP DB 2ND, INDEXER PROCESES, PUTS IMPORTANT STUFF IN TO INDEX. A LOT OF USELESS STUFF THROWN AWAY 3RD, WHEN USER MAKES QUERY, SEARCH ENGINE USES THE DOCUMENTS IN INDEX Later, the indexer comes along and goes through everything to put the important stuff into the index. At this stage, a lot of useless stuff will be thrown out – particularly duplicate pages. When a user makes a search query, the ranker will use the documents in the index to return a list of the most relevant pages for that query.
  5. COMMON ISSUES WHICH AFFECT HOW CRAWLER OR INDEXER SEE YOUR SITE
  6. CRAWL BUDGET CRAWLER MOVES THROUGH SITE, DISTRIBUTES PR TO PAGES IT FINDS CAN’T CRAWL FOREVER. PR BELOW THRESHOLD = STOPS. WASTING YOUR CRAWL MEANS SOME PAGES WON’T BE CRAWLED AS OFTEN (OR AT ALL) BEST TO CHANNEL THE CRAWLER TO YOUR MOST IMPORTANT PAGES. The first issue is crawl budget. As the crawler moves through your site it will pass and distribute PageRank to the pages it finds. Obviously, it can’t crawl every level of your site forever, so once the PageRank drops below a certain threshold, it will stop crawling your site – this is called your crawl budget. CHANNELLING TO DISCVER MOST IMPORTANT DEPTH GRAPH Because of this, it’s really important to minimise the amount of wasted crawl – this means that spiders will be able to reach more of your important pages more often.
  7. THIS SITE: ECOM – DRESS PAGE PRETTY GOOD FROM SEO POV This is an ecommerce site selling dresses – this is the main category page, and it’s pretty good from an SEO perspective.
  8. DUPLICATION – HUGE ISSUE SEARCH ENGINES DON’T WANT TO RETURN TWO DUPLICATE DOCUMENTS FOR ONE QUERY DILUTES AUTHORITY – SITE NOT RANK AS WELL AS IT COULD Duplication is a huge issue for most sites – essentially, search engines don’t want to index lots of the same page, so indexers will normally cut a lot of it out and only index one or two pages from a group of duplicates. Having duplicate pages wastes your crawl, and dilutes authority across a lot of URLs, meaning your site ultimately doesn’t rank as well as it could.
  9. THIS SITE: ECOM – DRESS PAGE PRETTY GOOD FROM SEO POV This is an ecommerce site selling dresses – this is the main category page, and it’s pretty good from an SEO perspective.
  10. This leads to a case of massive duplication through out the site – all pages have the exact same content, but display different products.
  11. DUPLICATION – HUGE ISSUE SEARCH ENGINES DON’T WANT TO RETURN TWO DUPLICATE DOCUMENTS FOR ONE QUERY DILUTES AUTHORITY – SITE NOT RANK AS WELL AS IT COULD Duplication is a huge issue for most sites – essentially, search engines don’t want to index lots of the same page, so indexers will normally cut a lot of it out and only index one or two pages from a group of duplicates. Having duplicate pages wastes your crawl, and dilutes authority across a lot of URLs, meaning your site ultimately doesn’t rank as well as it could.
  12. UNDERINDEXATION IS WHEN CRAWLERS CANT ACCESS (JS/BLOCKED) OR WHEN INDEXERS CAN NOT INDEX (CANONICAL/NOINDEX) Another common issue is under indexation, when – to avoid this kind of duplication, all of the faceted pages are not indexable – maybe they canonicalise back to the main dresses page, have a noindex directive, or worse still, maybe they don’t make a new URL – the products just change with JavaScript.
  13. DUPLICATION – HUGE ISSUE SEARCH ENGINES DON’T WANT TO RETURN TWO DUPLICATE DOCUMENTS FOR ONE QUERY DILUTES AUTHORITY – SITE NOT RANK AS WELL AS IT COULD Duplication is a huge issue for most sites – essentially, search engines don’t want to index lots of the same page, so indexers will normally cut a lot of it out and only index one or two pages from a group of duplicates. Having duplicate pages wastes your crawl, and dilutes authority across a lot of URLs, meaning your site ultimately doesn’t rank as well as it could.
  14. UNDERINDEXATION IS WHEN CRAWLERS CANT ACCESS (JS/BLOCKED) OR WHEN INDEXERS CAN NOT INDEX (CANONICAL/NOINDEX) Another common issue is under indexation, when – to avoid this kind of duplication, all of the faceted pages are not indexable – maybe they canonicalise back to the main dresses page, have a noindex directive, or worse still, maybe they don’t make a new URL – the products just change with JavaScript.
  15. LOOK AT QUERY - DKNY EVENING DRESSES ALMOST EVERY PAGE ULTRA RELEVANT NO MATTER HOW AUTHORITATIVE YOU ARE, YOU WON’T RANK WITH A GENERIC PAGE IF YOU KNOW THIS INDUSTRY, YOU’LL NOTICE ONE OF THE MOST AUTHORITATIVE SITES MISSING BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE A PAGE FOR THIS, DESPITE BIDDING HIGHLY IN PPC If we look at the pages which currently rank for the term dkny evening dresses, we can see that most of them are specifically about DKNY evening dresses, and the ones that are left are about DKNY dresses – no matter how authoritative you are, you’re never going to rank for this term with a generic “dresses” page. One other thing to point out, you’ll know of one or two extremely authoritative sites in the designer clothing vertical – they don’t rank for this term because they have this exact problem – they sell DKNY evening dresses, but do not have an indexable page for it so are not eligible to rank here.
  16. DOING THIS MEANS RANKING FOR WIDER RANGE OF TERMS LOW VOLUME BUT HIGHER PURCHASE INTENT THIS IS A HANDFUL, ADDS UP WHEN YOU LOOK ACROSS THE SITE If we look at these terms, just by opening these facets, we’re eligible to rank for a much wider array of terms. You might be looking at these and thinking that a couple of hundred searches a month isn’t very much, but someone searching “DKNY evening dresses”, those people have a much higher purchase intent than those just searching for “dresses”. Obviously we’ve also only picked a handful of terms, but the fix for this is a one-off and applies to the whole website, so fixing it can affect every category and product type you have.
  17. CASE STUDIES SYMPATHISE WITH DEV QUEUE HIGH END MOTORCYCLE GEAR Let’s looks at a few case studies. The first is a high-end motorcycle gear brand.
  18. AGV HELMETS – AGV IS A BRAND NONE OF THE FILTERS ARE INDEXABLE, MEANS NO PAGE FOR MODEL + BRAND – I.E. AGV K3 HELMET This is a page for AGV motorbike helmets – AGV is a brand name, and they have different styles and models here Motolegends main problem is that their categories are not indexable or crawlable – if you choose any of these product filters, only the products change. The URL, page heading and description stay the same – meaning that search engines can only index this one page.
  19. IF WE TAKE EVERY HELMET BRAND + MODEL, TAKE THE SEARCH VOLUME AND A CTR CURVE USE A CONVERSION RATE AND AOV WORK OUT THAT BY MAKING THESE INDEXABLE, THERE’S A POTENTIAL 88k INCREMENTAL INCOME So if we take every brand of helmets and match it with each brand’s model names, we can see that there’s a lot of search volume. If we assume that they’ll get to the top 5 in Google, we can project the amount of incremental traffic they’ll get. If we work that out over a year and assume a conversion rate and average order value, we can see that just by opening up the brand and model name facets, Motolegends is eligible to make an extra £88k a year – from a fairly easy fix. TAKE OUT DECIMAL POINTS
  20. THIS IS AN ELECTRONICS RETAILER, SAME PROBLEM
  21. SAME METHOD, WE CAN SEE THEY’RE MISSING OUT ON A BUNCH OF SEARCH VOLUME FROM BRAND MODIFIERS
  22. BUT WHAT ELSE? But what else have they missed? The product titles have a whole host of different specifications – just by looking at a few products I picked out some recurring product attributes which may be important – model, memory, the type of connector, the output. Just because Maplin doesn’t currently have these filters on their category pages, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t look at expanding it.
  23. MAKE A FEW COMBINATIONS OF THESE PRODUCT ATTRIBUTES SEE THAT THERE’S QUITE A LOT OF SEARCH VOLUME AROUND THESE THEY SHOULD HAVE MORE FILTERS FOR THE ATTRIBUTES PEOPLE USE WHEN SEARCHING After running those through the keyword planner, it’s clear that these terms have some pretty significant search volume. Maplin is missing out on a lot of this traffic because they don’t have indexable pages – or even filters – for these terms.
  24. HOF PRETTY GOOD
  25. DRESS PAGE – PRETTY GOOD – RIGHT META, HEADINGS, SOME CONTENT House of Fraser has a pretty good implementation of facets – it has a couple of issues which we’ll look at in a second, but is great from an indexation people of view. Here’s the dresses page – exactly as you’d expect.
  26. SELECT COCKTAIL - GET COCKTAIL DRESSES HEADINGS House of Fraser has a pretty good implementation of facets – it has a couple of issues which we’ll look at in a second, but is great from an indexation people of view. Here’s the dresses page – exactly as you’d expect.
  27. EVEN BRANDS House of Fraser has a pretty good implementation of facets – it has a couple of issues which we’ll look at in a second, but is great from an indexation people of view. Here’s the dresses page – exactly as you’d expect.
  28. TO PREVENT OVER-INDEXATION, THEY BLOCK BOTS FROM CRAWLING MORE THAN ONE ATTRIBUTE FROM SAME FILTER GROUP Once one of the filters in a group has been selected, the rest of the filters in that group become nofollow, meaning that a crawler will not try to get to the “cocktail or maxi dresses page, but they will try to get to “phase eight cocktail dresses”
  29. STOP PAGE FROM BEING CRAWLED AFTER TOO MANY FACETS GROUPS SELECTED HoF even limit the number of selected dimensions, once filters in 3 groups have been selected, all links become nofollow – meaning that crawlers generally won’t try to get to super-long tail (and potentially useless) pages.
  30. MAIN PROBLEM – THEY IMPLEMENT NOFOLLOW, BUT BOTS CAN STILL FIND THESE PAGES ELSEWHERE SHOULD NOINDEX/CANONICALISE OR ROBOTS DISALLOW One of the main issues with this system though is that where pages have been set as noindex because they’ve tripped one of the rules (for instance, they have too many filters selected), the pages are still indexable. This means that if search engines find out about the pages from any other source (for instance, a blogger links to a page with black and gold dresses), that page will be indexed with duplicate content from the main category. The recommendation here would be to noindex pages which shouldn’t be indexed, or better yet, canonicalise them to another of the indexable pages – that will make sure that if these pages are linked to but are not indexable, at least that authority will pass to other pages.
  31. How to identify Underindexation Look at you Crawl Depth Graph How do you know though if this is enough pages
  32. Crawl the Market Leaders (stealth crawl) Estimate the number of Unique and Indexable Pages they have got The example shows the number of pages of You Website vs Competitors
  33. Calculate indexation Ratio Ideally you want most of your pages to be available on first 5-6 levels Compare to your Website
  34. https://tools.deepcrawl.co.uk/projects/reports/33245 Heavy Canonicalisation
  35. https://tools.deepcrawl.co.uk/projects/reports/33245 Heavy Canonicalisation page Size, sort, show all
  36. https://tools.deepcrawl.co.uk/projects/reports/33245 Heavy Canonicalisation
  37. https://tools.deepcrawl.co.uk/projects/reports/56325 Improving Crawl Efficiency with robots.xtx
  38. https://tools.deepcrawl.co.uk/projects/reports/16010 Heavy Duplication
  39. https://tools.deepcrawl.co.uk/projects/reports/16010 Hidden Thin Content
  40. https://tools.deepcrawl.co.uk/projects/reports/16010 Hidden Thin Content
  41. https://tools.deepcrawl.co.uk/projects/reports/16010 Hidden Thin Content
  42. https://tools.deepcrawl.co.uk/projects/reports/16010 Heavy Duplication
  43. Internal site search Customer query data (in store/ call center) Primary research (surveys or direct observation)
  44. Higher chance to rank Longer tail have higher purchase intent
  45. Very complicated.