Google Stops Listing Burberry US Home Page

Apr 5, 2012 • 8:39 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

Google BurberryDean Rowe, the SEO manager at Burberry's headquarters, received one of those Big traffic change for top URL notifications in Google Webmaster Tools for the http://us.burberry.com URL.

In fact, Google has currently delisted the us.burberry.com page. Why? Well, it was not a penalty, it was because Google felt the page was redundant to the uk.burberry.com web page.

Google's John Mueller told Dean, "We're currently seeing the UK and the US versions as being identical, and picking one of them (in this case, the UK version) for indexing."

A great way to resolve this is to make sure that they're really unique. Another solution could be to use geotargeting in Webmaster Tools (if you aren't using it already), and to use the "link rel=alternate hreflang" construct to make sure that we understand the relationship between your UK and US pages. You can find out more about this at http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=189077

Here is a screen shot, which might change in the near future:

Google Burberry Results

Burberry is a huge brand and looking at how Google handled this situation is something most SEOs can learn from.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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Comments:

Dean Rowe

04/05/2012 04:19 pm

Hi Barry, Google have been fantastic in their response for assistance - I can't fault them at all - Thanks Google! It's really helped identify the issue in a timely manner.

Barry Schwartz

04/05/2012 04:20 pm

Yea, and John from Google is pretty awesome.

Andy Lackie

04/05/2012 05:06 pm

Very interesting. I've seen similar issues myself but now with GEO but with G thinking a load of sites with the same IP are the same and then ranking one of them for all the other sites keywords.

Billtag

04/05/2012 05:18 pm

Screw google they think they can do what ever they want. How about doing the correct thing and notify the company

Mackthehat

04/06/2012 01:27 am

its annoying why google dont just use the geo-targeting settings in WMT properly, doesnt feel like rocket science

nick sheppard

04/06/2012 02:10 pm

agreed Barry, a good example of identifying indexation issues properly. If your homepage gets dropped you've either got a penalty or dupe content and need to jump on that quick (especially with Google hosing BuildMyRank and the new spammy link warnings). Investigating and listing the issue fully, and openly (not using example.com), on the Webmaster Help forum is by far the best option irrespective of whether you are a big brand or a SME.  Kudos to burberrys for handling it properly. It will be really interesting to see how long it takes to be re-indexed (its still ranking the UK now) but I cant see any hreflang tags on their site as yet. Curious as to why only US is affected and not say Canada or Australia? Might be they've not rolled out an algo change past the US yet? @Billtag, you could argue that Google did notify the company via WMT (although I assume you mean 'prior' notification, which I agree would be great). The guy admitted theyve got dupe content, suppose Google can't cater for everyone

R Vanna

04/08/2012 05:31 pm

Wow, folks better start paying attention!

Steve

04/09/2012 11:54 am

Wow, I didn't see that coming. It's quite good for the end-user that they pay attention to this kind of details.

Alan

04/09/2012 09:49 pm

I thought I remember Google stating that using the TLD's .co.uk and .com's this is suppose to avoid the issue. Since its inception in 2005, Ive hated that filter as its used in negative seo.

Snapback25

05/07/2012 06:05 am

I want to list the same products on multiple websites. Is it necessary to rewrite the product descriptions? Am I already hurting myself by putting the same description on multiple products? I hope not, theres not much to say about these snapbacks that I sell. Look here to see what I'm talking about  http://www.snapback25.com/index.php/supreme-snapback-hats.html. I have unique content from the different categories; supreme, obey, diamond supply, etc but do the product descriptions need to be unique also? Please reply me.

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