5 ways to avoid the Google Panda / Farmer update for duplicate content eCommerce sites
The update can potentially affect eCommerce sites that have product descriptions duplicated across many other sites. For example if your site sells laptops and you are using exactly the same product descriptions and specifications as the manufacturer and many other sites, you could face a drop in organic search traffic.
Although this isn’t set in stone, it is certainly something that should be taken seriously as the Panda update will hit the UK any time soon. If your site is facing these difficulties, consider the following to try and differentiate your content from the rest of the crowd:
- Hire a content writer to write unique, compelling descriptions for your products. This will not only make Google happy but may increase conversion rates as well.
- Pull in snippets of independent product reviews from sources such as Reevoo and Which?. Make sure the content is viewable to Google so no iFrames people!
- Encourage user generated content by inviting users to leave reviews on your products. This method requires no extra time or effort other than moderation, as the customer writes the content for you! You may need to incentivise customers to leave reviews by giving them discount off their next orders or entering them into a prize draw. This alone however has its advantages as it increases the chances that a customer will return to the site.
- Add FAQ information within product page descriptions. Instead of linking to an FAQ page from a term in the product description, display it on the actual page with clever CSS so that Google can see it.
- List related products on the page, pulling through description snippets which will be unique to your site.
We would love to hear your take on this update in the UK and also if you have been affected in the US. Please let us know what you think in the comments below.