The subject of faceted navigation is sure to come back up in some unspecified time in the future in your search engine optimisation profession. It is a widespread resolution to product filtering for e-commerce websites, however managing it on the search engine optimisation aspect can rapidly spin uncontrolled with the potential to trigger indexing bloat and crawl errors. On this week’s Whiteboard Friday, we welcome our buddy Sergey Stefoglo to provide us a fast refresher on simply what faceted nav is and why it issues, then dive into just a few key options that may provide help to tame it.
Hey, Moz followers. My title is Serge. I am from Distilled. I work on the Seattle workplace as a marketing consultant. For these of you that do not find out about Distilled, we’re a full-service digital advertising company specializing in search engine optimisation, however have branched out since to work on all types of issues like content material, PR, and just lately a break up testing software, ODN.
At present I am right here to speak to you guys about faceted navigation, simply the fundamentals. We now have a couple of minutes in the present day, so I am simply going to cowl type of the 101 model of this. However basically we will undergo what the definition is, why we should always care as SEOs, why it is vital, what are some choices we’ve with this, after which additionally what an answer may appear to be.
1. What’s faceted navigation?
For those who do not know, faceted navigation is basically one thing like this, most likely quite a bit nicer than this to be sincere. But it surely’s basically a web page that means that you can filter down or permits a consumer to filter down primarily based on what they’re in search of. So that is an instance we’ve right here of a listing of merchandise on a web page that sells laptops, Apple laptops on this case.
Proper right here on the left aspect, within the inexperienced, we’ve a bunch of aspects. Primarily, in case you’re a consumer and you are going in right here, you might have a look at the scale of the display you may want. You could possibly have a look at the worth of the laptop computer, and so on. That is what faceted navigation is. Beforehand, once I labored at my earlier company, I labored on a variety of native search engine optimisation issues, probably not e-commerce, big-scale web sites, so I did not run into this situation usually. I truly did not even realize it was a factor till I began at Distilled. So this could be fascinating for you even when it would not apply in the meanwhile.
2. Why does faceted navigation matter?
Primarily, we should always care as SEOs as a result of this could get uncontrolled actually rapidly. Whereas being very helpful to customers, clearly it is useful to have the ability to filter right down to the precise factor you need. this might get type of ridiculous for Googlebot.
Faceted navigation may end up in indexing bloat and crawl points
We have had shoppers at Distilled that come to us which can be e-commerce manufacturers which have tens of millions of pages within the index being crawled that basically should not be. They do not carry any worth to the positioning, any income, and so on. The primary purpose we should always care is as a result of we wish to keep away from indexation bloat and type of crawl errors or points.
3. What choices do we’ve in terms of controlling which pages are listed/crawled?
The third factor we’ll discuss is what are some choices we’ve when it comes to controlling a few of that, so controlling whether or not a web page will get listed or crawled, and so on. I am not going to get into the specifics of every of those in the present day, however I’ve a weblog put up on this subject that we’ll hyperlink to on the backside.
The primary, most typical choices that we’ve for controlling this sort of factor could be round no indexing a web page and stopping Google from indexing it, utilizing canonical tags to decide on a web page that is basically the canonical model, utilizing a disallow rule in robots.txt to cease Google from crawling a sure a part of the positioning, or utilizing the nofollow meta directive as effectively. These are among the most typical choices. Once more, we’re not going to enter the nitty-gritty of every one. They every have their type of professionals and cons, so you possibly can analysis that for yourselves.
4. What may an answer appear to be?
So okay, we all know all of this. What may very well be an excellent resolution? Earlier than I leap into this, I do not need you guys to run in to your bosses and say, “That is what we have to do.”
Please, please do your analysis beforehand as a result of it’ll fluctuate quite a bit primarily based in your web site. Primarily based on the dev assets you have got, you might need to get scrappy with it. Additionally, do some key phrase analysis primarily across the lengthy tail. There are a variety of situations the place you might and would possibly wish to have three or 4 aspects listed.
So once more, an enormous caveat: this is not the end-all be-all resolution. It is one thing that we have beneficial at instances, when applicable, to shoppers. So let’s leap into what an excellent resolution, or not preferrred resolution, a attainable resolution may appear to be.
Class, subcategory, and sub-subcategory pages open to indexing and crawling
What we’re right here is we will have our class, subcategory, and sub-subcategory pages open to indexation and open to being crawled. In our instance right here, that will be this web page, so /computer systems/laptops/apple. Completely fantastic. Persons are most likely looking for Apple laptops. In reality, I do know they’re.
Any pages with a number of aspects chosen = listed, aspect hyperlinks get nofollowed
The second step right here is any web page that has one aspect chosen, so for instance, if I used to be on this web page and I wished an Apple laptop computer with a strong state drive in it, I would choose that from these choices. These are fantastic to be listed. However any time you have got a number of aspects chosen, we wish to make certain to nofollow all of those inner hyperlinks pointing to different aspects, basically to cease hyperlink fairness from being wasted and to cease Google from losing time crawling these pages.
Any pages with 2+ aspects chosen = noindex tag will get added
Then, previous that time, if a consumer selects two or extra aspects, so if I used to be desirous about an Apple laptop computer with a strong state laborious drive that was within the $1,000 value vary for instance, the possibilities of there being a variety of search quantity for an Apple laptop computer for $1,000 with a strong state drive is fairly low.
So what we wish to do right here is add a noindex tag to these two-plus aspect choices, and that may once more assist us management crawl bloat and indexation bloat.
Already arrange faceted nav? Take into consideration key phrase search quantity, then return and whitelist
The ultimate factor I wish to point out right here, I touched on it a little bit bit earlier. However basically, in case you’re doing this after the very fact, after the faceted navigation is already arrange, which you most likely are, it is price, once more, having a powerful take into consideration the place there may be key phrase search quantity. For those who do that, it is price additionally having a look again just a few months in to see the influence and likewise see if there’s something you would possibly wish to whitelist. There could be a sure set of aspects that do have search quantity, so that you would possibly wish to throw them again into the index. It is price having a look at that.
That is what faceted navigation is as a fast intro. Thanks for watching. I might be actually to listen to what you guys assume within the feedback. Once more, like I mentioned, there is not a one-size-fits-all resolution. So I might be actually to listen to what’s labored for you, or when you have any questions, please ask them under.