Are search engines being fair to e-commerce websites?

Curated content

There is a very unique consideration specific to e-commerce websites that could dramatically impact their ability to rank well in search engine result pages:  Curated Content.

Lets say you have an e-commerce website and you sell a particular line of clothing as an authorized re-seller.  The clothing manufacturer will almost always provide you their approved product images and product descriptions to use on your website.

The Problem:

In many cases, the product descriptions provided are the exact same product descriptions that appear on thousands of other websites in the same market.  All of the other authorized re-sellers (your competitors) use the exact same content provided by the clothing manufacturer.  In fact, assuming the clothing manufacturer has a retail website of their own, they themselves are using the exact same product descriptions on their site.  As a result, there tends to be TONS of duplicated content on the web in the form of product descriptions that have been “curated” from the manufacturer.  There is a universally accepted assumption that search engines do not want duplicated content in their index.  In some cases, search engines even consider duplicate content a form of plagiarism (it’s an ugly word).

The Solution:

To avoid having this issue negatively impact your organic rankings, we suggest you re-write ALL of the product descriptions on your website.  The product descriptions need to be original content written by someone who knows the products intimately.  Depending on the number of products offered this might be a very large job.  We believe that if you elect to implement this change, you should enjoy some very tangible benefits:

1.  Once the new content is posted, your organic rankings should improve considerably.  Once the search engines crawl and index the new product descriptions, they should remove any penalties they may currently be imposing.  We believe you should see a jump in rankings once this is indexing process has occurred.

2.  There is a concept in marketing (all marketing) referred to as “noise.”  Noise can be defined as a lack of differentiation in a saturated market.  Doing something other than what the vast majority of your competitors are doing will help your website to standout and be noticed.  Re-writing your product descriptions in a way that differentiates your company from all the other e-commerce sites that are selling the same products, should help you to build name recognition, build your brand and convert more visitors to sales.

Please feel free to comment on this post and share with our visitors how re-writing your product descriptions have impacted your organic rankings.

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SEO virtuoso, CEO @Sachs Marketing Group. Focused on being of service to business owners - helping to better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

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