Google SEO office hour held on 31st, Dec 2021, John Mueller came across the subject of duplicate description for products. Mueller gave an extensive explanation on how Google deals with the ranking of products with duplicate descriptions but different merchandise to avoid plagiarism.
He also Shared some ideas on how publishers can help Rank Products With Duplicate Descriptions of such products.
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Product With Same Descriptions
The person asking the question was specifically concerned about the description for handmade shoes with the same build but different designs and brands.
The question was:
“Would it be counted as duplicate content by Google if I write one …high quality product description for all?
Or is it better to have unique descriptions for each one, which reduces the quality of the content?”
What Mueller Said About Description?
Before addressing the elephant in the room, Mueller briefly talked about how unique content affects the quality of content. He then established that content/description can manage both uniqueness and quality.
Then he addresses the main concern and he goes on to say that having a duplicate description/content won’t lead to the demotion of a webpage. If two or more pages have the same content then Google will simply roll out one or two pages from your website to appear for search results. He further explains why Google will limit pages.
“It’s more from a practical point of view we recognize you have this content on a lot of your pages.
So if someone is searching specifically for that content it doesn’t make sense for us to show all of those pages.
And that’s… reasonable when people are searching for a piece of content.
They don’t need to find all of the pages within your website that have that piece of content.”
Mueller’s Advice for Helping Google to Rank Products With Similar Description
According to Mueller, not having a product description for users might affect search results negatively. He insists on having a description to demonstrate the product. With the example mentioned in the question, Mueller explains the value of one single text.
Mueller on importance of description:
So for example, you mentioned you have handmade shoes. If you have blue shoes and red shoes and you never mentioned which color these shoes are in, then if someone is searching for blue shoes, we might think, well your pages are not that relevant because you don’t mention the word blue anywhere on your pages.”
Further, he said that Google doesn’t mind a duplicate description/content if it is relevant and necessary for a better review of the product. They will ignore if two shoe products have the same color mentioned in their description as it gives a whole picture of what the shoes are like.
Although having duplicate description/content won’t let your site demote still use the text context to specifically demonstrate your product. Try to write a description for your product that describes how it is different or better from other products. It shouldn’t be bland, it can be both unique and worthwhile.
A duplicate description might not demote your site but a description will definitely help google to Rank Products With Duplicate Descriptions.
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