Google On Faceted Navigation: Block A Lot Of It

Feb 13, 2014 • 8:29 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

Google's Developer Programs Tech Lead, Maile Ohye and Crawl Team, Mehmet Aktuna wrote a detailed blog post on best practices for faceted navigation. Most faceted navigation are on large sites with filters, such as e-commerce sites with a lot of filter options, or large content sites with many filters and so forth.

Here is a picture Google used to describe it:

Google Faceted Navigation

I am a bit surprised how much Google wants you to block a lot of the navigation, as opposed to using rel=canonical. But maybe I am reading into it too much.

Google explains:

Faceted navigation, such as filtering by color or price range, can be helpful for your visitors, but it’s often not search-friendly since it creates many combinations of URLs with duplicative content. With duplicative URLs, search engines may not crawl new or updated unique content as quickly, and/or they may not index a page accurately because indexing signals are diluted between the duplicate versions.

So if you have a huge site with faceted navigation, you should 100% read this blog post.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Comments:

Rick

02/13/2014 03:14 pm

Thank you for reporting on this. This is what I needed to see from Google.

StevenLockey

02/13/2014 04:50 pm

Its basically a clarification of their 'block your internal search pages from Google' because they don't want search result pages in their index.

Jaimie Sirovich

02/13/2014 08:14 pm

@Barry RE: "I am a bit surprised how much Google wants you to block a lot of the navigation, as opposed to using rel=canonical. But maybe I am reading into it too much." The reason is probably that it's mathematically too "late." The crawl priority has been consumed. Consumed is actually too kind a word. Google may get sucked into a vortex of not-quite-duplicate "duplicative" content (my word was "superfluous" when I spoke at SES about this topic) and will never see the meat. The math is bad on this. There are power functions and factorials in there.

Gracious Store

02/16/2014 08:14 pm

So in a nutshell we should deal away with all faceted navigation that might otherwise help visitors to find what they want in a site especially in E commerce site

Digital Ready SEO

02/21/2014 03:22 pm

It sounds like a similar situation to search result pages for sites with search filter function. Way too many duplicate pages. Totally makes sense to just block them.

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