When it comes to large websites like e commerce websites, it becomes very important to look for a perfect website design structure and smart linking strategy. However, while making websites properly crawled there are several challenges that has to be faced with various attribute in e commerce websites such as size, colour, price, range etc.
To save from these difficulty, faceted navigation is an ideal way.However, faceted navigation can only help when executed in the most judicial way to keep users as well as search bots happy.
Let’s discuss about faceted navigation:
What is faceted navigation?
Faceted navigation may be understood as the filters that are present at the sidebar of ecommerce webpages to sort the search results according to the need of the user. It consist of various options, categories, filters and facets. These menus helps users to select particular commodity they are looking for. Facets are indexed categories and acts like a extension of the site’s menus. Facets are used for filtering the page by the users to get the commodity they are searching, however, while the search results gets narrowed, the content of the page remains same.
This way facets can produce multiple URLs with duplicate content which can create negative effect on SEO. While faceted navigation is a great feature for users looking for particular product, it may create several hazard for SEO such as
- Duplicate content
- Waste of crawl budget
- Dilutes link equity
As various parameters are created, the number of pages with related content also increases. Various links goes into these different pages of same content page, thus, the link equity also gets affected and reduces the ranking.
According to experts from SEO company in jaipur, in order to save the extremely useful crawl budget from getting wasted, search bots will have to be instructed for not crawling multiple factes such as size, colour etc, this way unique pages gets chance to be crawled and gets exposure in front of users.
Multiple facets can create some tough situation for ecommerce websites, there are some ways this problem can be handled. While there are few solution, the implementation depends upon which part of the website should be indexed.
Noindex tag is used to inform search bots about the page that should not be indexed. This process will remove the duplicate content pages from getting indexed, however, the crawl budget would be wasted and the link equity will also dilute. For example, if you are want page with “red handbag” to be indexed but don’t want page with “ red handbag under$200” to be indexed, then using noindex in the later can stop the page getting indexed. However, the crawl budget will still be wasted.
Experts from SEO Company in Los Angeles suggest that robot.txt tag can disallow certain parts of the website to be crawled. This is a fast and customizable option for crawling needs, however this is merely a directive which can be defied.
Canonical tags can help in instructing Google that certain group pages has alike vision. Canonical tags can help in saving link equity, however, the crawl budget will still gets wasted. Canonical tags can also be overlooked by search bots, hence, they should be used in combination. For example, “red handbags under $200” may have canonical tag set as red handbag. In this situation, google will attribute authority and link equity to canonicalized page but the crawl budget will get wasted.
The advantage of AJAX in faceted navigation is , it does not generate new URLs when a visitor visits page and select any filter. To get maximum benefit from AJAX tag, the crawl path should be accessible to the particular pages that are important for ranking.
- Google search console
Google search console is the most effective idea in faceted navigation. It is temporary solution while the navigation is adjusted as it instruct the google about the way it should crawl pages. URL parameter tool in google search console can change what effect each parameter has on webpages and how google should handle it.
While keeping in mind the dominance of user experience,faceted navigation is a great way to provide better experience to users. However, it causes multitude of SEO problem in terms of duplicate content,reduction in link equity and waste crawl budget.
It becomes very important for ecommerce websites to take necessary measures to handle faceted navigation as well as maintain SEO.