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Ecommerce and Google Panda

High ideals and reality often clash. This can be true when trying to get your ecommerce web site high in Google search rankings. As the most often used search engine, a high Google rank is important for your web site's success.

Ecommerce web sites are short on copy and frequently duplicate content in multiple locations and across multiple products and sites.

The algorithms Google uses are constantly being updated to improve search results. The latest rendition, Panda, takes into consideration not only unique content, but quality. How long users spend on a given page, the layout of the page and the bounce rate are all taken into consideration.

Google Panda algorithum

To generate unique content without much cost, encourage purchasers to write reviews. In addition to creating unique content, customer reviews widen the search terms your product is applicable to, bringing in additional traffic, as well as giving new visitors valuable insight into the experiences of other buyers.

Take control of duplicate content as part of your drive for a quality site. Reduce duplicated content within your site by creating a single page of information and linking to it. Alternatively, create unique pages and avoid duplicating the information within. For general information, write a well crafted article and make it available for syndication. Sources which refer to your article, show the title and a snippet of the content, then provide a link back to your article. This way search engines credit the original author with the article. Sites which copy content without crediting the source are considered low quality and can adversely affect your search ranking. In the event that someone plagiarizes your content without permission, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act can be used to support a request to Google, or any other search engine, for the page to be removed.

There are tools available to help you check for duplicate content, many are free. For example:

For more options, try a search for "duplicate content tools".

Focus home page marketing efforts on a few select products. Attracting people to your site with your best selling products will be more effective than attempting to sell every product equally. Make sure that information is easy to find within a page. Cluttered pages and disorganized information will frustrate visitors and lower your Google rank. Ask someone unfamiliar with your web site to review it and even locate some specific information, then ask them about their experience. Be objective. If your test visitor had no problems then your site will be fine, otherwise use feedback to take a critical look at your web site.

The Google Panda search algorithm is a series of tweaks designed to make searches more relevant and giving priority to quality web sites. Panda offers insight into the direction of future search algorithms. The shift to quality over quantity will require some sites to make changes in how they present information. If your web site has been impacted by the Panda algorithm, take at look through Google's Webmaster Guidelines for more information.

Date: 05.25.2012

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