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johnemiddleton

Multiple Product Pages Versus One Product Page

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I am curious what everyone's opinion is on an issue I'm having. My company sells items that have a variety of models - think cars with different options packages. Currently we list every model on it's own separate page. However, sometimes the models are so similar there is little that can be changed between copy (much less the images, which are nearly always the same). Nonetheless, our copywriters diligently write something different to escape any duplicate content penalties.

 

I've noticed a competitor of ours has those models all lumped together on one product page, utilizing drop-down menus as options. I'm not sure, based on SERPs, if they are ranking better than we are. I would guess they are ranking better for general terms while we are ranking better for specific terms. But that's just a guess.

 

However, I would think that one page would be best, because then we would have all links going to that page (regardless of model), we could optimize the copy and product page instead of worrying about duplicate content penalties, and the keywords wouldn't be diluted because they show up in so many other places on the website.

 

What are your thoughts?

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Hi and welcome to the forum! :wave:

 

Assuming that we are talking about e-commerce site, from my experience one page is much better. Not only because of the link juice flow and rankings, but also from the user experience point of view. If you have 1000 products and each available in 20 variants, trying to make each option a separate product and page (20k) wouldn't be the greatest idea. Your goal is to make the user experience great, not to confuse them.

Having said that, I can imagine that in some cases (when competing against 'giants', with no hope to rank well for more general keywords) targeting long tail keywords with separate pages may be a good idea.

 

Before making any decisions I would analyse the amount of traffic you are getting to those pages (versus what could you be getting if ranking better for general keywords) and how do visitors convert.

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When I have questions like this I experiment. However my guess is that a single product page with the variants displayed WITHOUT dropdown menus will be best - but I am a 60-year-old, small town, conservative white guy trying to guess what will work best with a diversity of people who will visit my website. So, I don't know what will work best on your site and I would be skeptical of anybody who says that he KNOWS.

 

I would pick a couple products that get a lot of traffic and convert those pages. See what happens to the conversion rate.

 

Questions like this in my opinion should not be answered by webmasters. Instead webmasters should present their possible answers to the site visitors and let the decision be made based upon performance.

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Thanks for the replies. Yes, it's for an ecommerce site. I hadn't thought of the one product page without dropdowns, that might work too.

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Think in terms of Customer Satisfaction. What's best for your customers and that's probably one page as mention earlier. When it come to SE there are so many other factors that matters so this is no issue. SE get smarter every year and focus on CS will in long run give better results. If you want more content start blog on you subject instead.

Good Luck

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I agree with the one product page approach in this case.

 

I did a quick check on wordtracker for "chevy malibu" and there majority of searches are for the year followed by chevy malibu, e.g. 2002 chevy malibu

 

Same for "Honda civic" and the same for "jeep grand cherokee" although this one had a few extra phrases for parts, accessories and other options.

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I think everyone has nailed this fairly well, but another important consideration to pagination and split-paging issues is the overall crawl-priority of the site, and the PageRank bar. A fuller explanation of that, and how it directly effects these page-splitting or page-consolidation issues can be found in the forum thread about partial indexing we've just been having.

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Thanks for the link Black_Knight! That was a very good read. I had a hunch the one product page method was the way to go, but I just wasn't sure. Thanks again everybody.

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