Google: What Faceted Navigation Should You Show Google To Index

Jun 2, 2016 • 8:17 am | comments (6) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

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The topic of faceted navigation is a complex one in the SEO space. It comes up often for large e-commerce sites that have category pages with tons of filer options for colors, sizes, options, etc etc. What do you allow Google to index and what do you hide. What do you canonical, what do you use rel-next and prev for, what do you do with all these pages. Back in the day, you'd give it all to Google and bank on the long tail, but now with Panda, you don't dare do that.

In fact, Google has an excellent and relevant blog post from 2014 on their recommendations but John Mueller was asked this recently in a Google Hangout on Google+ at the 40:20 mark mark.

The question was:

We are planning to launch a new shop but unsure how many pages we should index. There are different sizes, colors, materials etc. Is it intelligent to combine every value with each other and let all be indexed? Or is it too much? What would you recommend?

The answer is it depends. :)

He said:

This is something where there is no answer to or no absolute answer to all of the cases here.

What I'd recommend doing is kind of taking a step back and looking at the pages that you have and thinking, is this really something that can stand on its own?

So would I make a page for a blue shoe in this model for this size? Would make a page separately for that, or would it make more sense to kind of have one more general page? Maybe a step back and saying, well, all sizes male and female on one page, or maybe I split it by male and female-- those kind of things. So is this something that would stand on its own or not?

And in some cases, you kind of drill down a little bit further. Because you know this is one very specific thing that people want just like that. And then it makes sense maybe to have a separate page. And sometimes you say, well, people generally just want this vague kind of thing here. And I have all these variations, different sizes, colors on the same page. And that kind of helps solve their problem as well.

So I guess if you think there is enough query volume for specific landing page options, go with it, if not, close it out.

Here is the video embed:

Forum discussion at Google+.

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