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Is Your Shopify Theme Being Penalized By Google?

Is Your Shopify Theme Being Penalized By Google?

99.9% of Shopify themes using product filters on collection pages are being penalized by Google. Fact.

 

If your Shopify theme is using product filters on collection pages, one of two things are happening:

1 - YOUR FILTER PAGES ARE CAUSING MAJOR DUPLICATION PENALTIES THAT ARE HARMING YOUR RANKINGS.

Or

2 -  YOUR FILTER PAGES ARE BLOCKED FROM THE SEARCH ENGINES ALTOGETHER, MEANING YOUR MISSING OUT ON 1,000'S & 1,000'S OF HIGH CONVERTING SEARCHES EVERY DAY.

Shopify uses a built-in product ‘tagging’ system to arrange collections of products in filterable results in the sidebar such as SIZE, PRODUCT TYPE, COLOUR etc.

These ‘filter link’ URL'S are dynamically generated by the platform and aren’t accessible or editable via the Shopify CMS so 1000’s and 1000’s of duplication issues occur instantaneously as soon as you start adding filters to your theme, causing major keyword, metadata and content duplication issues.

The best selling Shopify apps for product and collection page filters deal with the collection page duplicates by BLOCKING these pages from the search engines altogether with what's called a ‘canonical tag’ which simply points Google back to the root or main collection page. 

This means that every filter page URL on your site is BLOCKED excluding 1000’s and 1000’s of high revenue generating pages that could be crawled, indexed and ranked in the search engines for search terms like: "SIZE 12 DRESSES"

There are approximately 2,400 searches for ‘dresses size 12’, each month in the US, not to mention 1000’s and 1000's of additional searches there were for sizes for 14, 16, and 18 etc. across the rest of the world.

THE LOSS OF TRAFFIC FOR EVERY SHOPIFY STORE USING PRODUCT FILTERS IS ENORMOUS!

Most theme developers don't even realize this issue exists and don't even deal with duplicate collection page issues at all, causing major duplicate penalties from Google. These duplications SERIOUSLY HARM YOUR RANKINGS!!!

Is YOUR Shopify store being penalized?

Follow these STEP by STEP instructions to see if and how your site is currently being penalized.

STEP 1 - Go to a ‘collection page’ on your Shopify store and hover over the browser tab at the top of your screen to see what keywords the collection is targeting, known as the ‘meta title tag.

Hovering over your browser tab works in Chrome, Edge, Internet Explorer and Firefox. If you are using a Mac, you will need to follow a different process for determining the meta title.

STEP 2 - Make a note of the targeted keywords and make a note of the url. In this example I’m using /collections/dresses and the keyword being targeted is ‘dresses’.


STEP 3 - Click on any filter in the sidebar - this could be anything like color, size, brand or product type.

STEP 4 - Repeat STEP 2 by hovering over the browser tab at the top of your screen to determine the URL and the meta title. 

It’s likely that the URL has changed but the keywords the page is targeting is the same as before? Here’s an example of how the best selling product filter app works. The red color filter URL changes to:

 /collections/dresses?_=pf&pf_opt_color=Red

And the meta title is still the same = DRESSES

This means that 2 URLS are targeting the same keyword ‘dresses’ a big NO NO with Google. Keyword and metadata conflicts will harm your sites’ rankings and quality score. This is just one filter, this demo store has 46 filters in the sidebar on the dresses collection page so there are 46 pages with the same duplicate keyword conflicts!!! Every page of your store should be targeting a different keyword or search phrase to avoid duplicate penalties.

As mentioned before, most theme developers don’t really understand or care how your store performs in the search engines. 

To avoid duplication penalties, some developers will try to block these filter page URL’s from being indexed and ranked by Google by adding a ‘canonical tag’ which requests Google to ignore these pages altogether even though there is no guarantee it will.

Again, it’s the correct way to deal with duplicate URL’s [without access to the robots.txt files but by doing so, they are blocking 1000’s of pages from the search engines that can drive traffic and sales. 

Most developers aren’t even this savy and they ignore the duplicate issues altogether. To see if your duplicates have been dealt with or not follow these instructions:

STEP  1 - Click on the filter you used in the previous example - in this case I clicked Red.

STEP 2 - On a PC, right click your mouse and click ‘view page source’.

STEP 3 - Hold down the control key on your keyboard and press F5 simultaneously - a search box should appear in the top right corner of your screen.

STEP 4 - in the box - type the word ‘canonical’. If there is a canonical tag on this page then it will be highlighted.

Is the URL in the canonical tag the same as the page you are on?

In this instance, the canonical tag is asking Google to ignore the duplicate filter page altogether and focus only on the root collection page for dresses. 

If the URL in the canonical tag is the same as the URL of the page you are on, then the filter duplicate issues have been totally ignored causing major harm to your stores rankings and quality score.

Either way, if you’re using product filters your store then you are missing out on 1000’s of high converting search terms every day. 

Thankfully - there is now a solution. Our themes are the FIRST and ONLY themes in the world with OPTIMIZED, NON-CONFLICTING PRODUCT filter pages. Our themes can have up to 8 x sets of collection page product filters, each with unique:

  • URL’s
  • Meta Title Tags
  • Meta Description Tags
  •  H1 Tags
  • Indexable Content 
  • Alt= tags

This means that your store will have 1000’s more optimized pages in the search engines. No conflicts. No Google Penalties. Higher Rankings. More Traffic. More Organic Sales. To see this technology in action - CLICK HERE to learn more.

Integrity Search are Shopify SEO Experts and can help you to greatly improve your shopify store organically. Get in touch witht hem to find out more.

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