How to help Google rank products with duplicate descriptions


John Mueller of Google addressed the question of how Google handles product descriptions that are the same for different goods, resulting in duplicate content. Mueller downplayed anything negative about duplicate content and offered creative suggestions on how to help Google rank product pages better for broadly similar products.

Different products but the same descriptions

The person who asked the question was concerned about how Google would handle the ranking of ecommerce web pages for different products with a similar description.

This specific situation involved handmade shoes for a specific age group that are created with the same material and techniques, with the only variation being in the design of the shoe.

The question asked was:

“Would Google count as duplicate content if I wrote a … high quality product description for everyone?”

Or is it better to have unique descriptions for each, which reduces the quality of the content? “

John Mueller advises what to do about duplicate product descriptions

Unique content does not reduce the quality of the content

Mueller began his response by expressing doubts as to whether unique content could reduce the quality of the content. He claimed that product descriptions can be both unique and of high quality.


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Google does not demote sites for duplicate content

John Mueller then returned to the main question regarding duplicate content.

Mueller continued:

“We would probably see this as duplicate content, but we wouldn’t demote a website because of duplicate content.

So from a practical point of view, what would happen if someone were to look for a piece of text that is in that duplicate description on your pages, then we would recognize that that piece of text is on a bunch of pages of your website. and we would try to just pick one or two pages from your website to display.

So it’s not that we would downgrade your website or… penalize the website in any way for containing duplicate content.

Showing multiple pages of the same content doesn’t make sense

Mueller then explained that it is simply a practical consideration that Google limits the number of similar pages from the same site that are shown in search results.


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John Mueller said:

“It’s more from a practical point of view that we recognize that you have this content on a lot of your pages.

So if someone is specifically looking for this content, it doesn’t make sense for us to display all of those pages.

And that’s… reasonable when people are looking for content.

They don’t need to find all of the pages on your website that contain this content.

How to help Google rank similar products

Mueller then stressed the importance of using text to explain what the products look like. He warned that failure to adequately describe what a product looks like can have a negative effect on search presence.

Mueller continued his response with this little warning:

“The thing I think about… be careful here is that if you don’t have anything at all in the textual content that covers… the visual element of your products, then it’s very difficult for us to show them properly in the Search Results.

So, for example, you mentioned that you have handmade shoes. If you have blue shoes and red shoes and you’ve never mentioned the color of those shoes, then if someone is looking for blue shoes, we might think your pages are not that relevant because you don’t mention the blue word nowhere. your pages.

So that’s… the angle I would take here is that it’s good to have parts of the description duplicated. But I would definitely make sure that you at least have something in there that really contains text on the visuals that are unique to those individual products that you are selling.

So that’s the direction I would go.

Duplicate content makes it difficult for Google to rank pages

Mueller said Google will not demote a site for duplicate content. But he also said that a lack of textual content describing the visual quality of a product makes it difficult for Google to rank these pages.

So if the product descriptions of similar products are the same, try to find the words to accurately describe the big and small things that make the individual product different, such as its intended use, but John especially encouraged trade editors. electronic to focus on writing text. which describes what makes a product visually different from another product.


How Google deals with duplicate product descriptions

Watch at 45:10 Minute Mark

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