Last updated: Dec 13, 2022
Faceted navigation is a type of search or navigation performed through pages containing categories. Usually this page is used by websites that have many products.
The purpose of making pages with faceted navigation is to help users find what they are looking for more easily. The trick is to use filters based on the attributes or characteristics of each product.
In general, faceted navigation is used on pages containing product categories, on e-commerce sites, job searches, and bookings, or travel. In short, large websites that have many products usually use this type of navigation.
Navigation forms that use these filters can raise some SEO issues. This type of page's filter system works by providing several options, such as:
Usually, there will be issues that can have a negative impact on the process of crawling and indexing pages. This can happen because pages can have variants based on the filter applied.
Some of the issues that can appear from the application of these filters are:
The number of derived pages will make crawlers think that the content presented is different, even though it is actually still the same. The original page can have multiple copies of the filter applied to it. This is what can cause the issue of duplicate content.
Although not included as a negative indicator of ranking on SERP, duplicate content can cause several issues, such as keyword cannibalization and the dilution of ranking signals into multiple URLs that should be consolidated into one URL.
The crawling process can only be done in a limited number. Every website has a different crawl budget. If your website has a lot of pages that need to be crawled, then make sure not to throw away crawling opportunities for less important pages.
Different filters can create different pages. By doing so, the crawler will need to crawl the various child pages that appear. This can be an issue that can harm your website's SEO performance.
Index bloat is what happens when index pages on your website don't have search value. Pages that are not of high quality can reduce overall SEO performance and worsen the website's image in Google's eyes.
With faceted navigation, there will be more URLs containing pages with content that doesn't have any uniqueness or value on its own. This page also does not provide new information for search engines. This can cause index bloat, which can make the website negatively affected by the algorithm.
So, how do you solve issues related to navigation using these filters? Here are some tips that you can apply:
The noindex tag can help inform bots about pages that don't need to be crawled or indexed. Even so, the page will still be crawled, making the variant of the page diluted with the original page.
In order for the original page to be recognized by search engines, you need to use the canonical tag. With this tag, search engines will be able to identify a set of pages that are copies of the original page.
The next way is to use robots.txt. Here, you can use the Disallow command to implement it on multiple pages or sections of the website. This solution is fast and can be adapted to the needs of the website.
The use of this type of navigation is not always bad for SEO activities. Pages with this type of navigation can also be optimized. Here are the ways:
Instead of losing money by using filters, you can use this opportunity to optimize page performance in the SERP. The trick is to use long-tail keywords from existing variants.
For example, you can search for a variant on the topic "vintage dress." Look for those with high search volume and use those keywords in new categories on the listing. That way, the variant page that appears will have a search value.
After getting the appropriate keywords, you need to optimize the variant page URLs. The trick is to make it easier to read. As an example, consider the words "dress," "vintage," or "black." Be sure to add these URLs to the XML sitemap using the Sitemap Generator.
Besides that, do optimization in the title tag, meta description, and header sections using the keywords that have been determined. Also, add interesting content so that you can bring in more organic traffic from users.
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