View Full Version : Product Websites & Rankings

17th May 2010, 05:31 AM

We have a website (Comm which displays various products from Motorola - Codan - Kenwood - Barrett - Entel etc

We sell two way radios for all applications

We are now wanting to launch a version, however, our .com contains all the products we sell, whereas the will only be products that are available to the UK market (.com is for the rest of the World)

My question is, how are Google going to react when a new website appears with a similar name, same products, same titles and decriptions?

I have read about the canonical tag, is this what my programmer/partner should use so that Google do not penalise us for duplicates?

I would hate to now mess up what I have achieved with this website

This is a first for me, I have never had a client who has done this before and it looks like we will be doing a few more in the near future and this issue will apply there also

Thanks and I hope I have made some sense :)


17th May 2010, 05:38 AM
Reading about the canonical tag from Matt Cutt's blog, I am not sure this is what we need

Below is what he says
Last week Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft announced support for a new link element to clean up duplicate urls on sites.

The syntax is pretty simple:

An ugly url such as

can specify in the HEAD part of the document the following:
<link rel="canonical" href=""/>

That tells search engines that the preferred location of this url (the “canonical” location, in search engine speak) is instead of .


17th May 2010, 09:07 AM
I agree that the cannonical tag won't serve you very well.

Why not hire copywriters and rewrite the content? That way, you avoid the duplicate content issue AND you can localize your content (English has different spellings, uses different vocabulary at times).

17th May 2010, 09:28 AM
That is a great idea, however, a Motorola GP340 is a Motorola GP340 and our product description content discusses whether it is VHF, UHF, what frequency, how many channels and what features it has - not saying this cannot be done by changing words around but that in itself would not make much difference because we have a big database behind our .com which we would want to use, which means the URLs would be the same, our product content would come from this database.

Re-writing the content would be too time consuming and costly for the company, I am hoping there is a way to inform Google we are not duplicating but serving our products to the UK market on a and the rest of the World on a .com

Prices are different but that is all, we wanted to change the colours of the website only for the so that our customers can recognise us

The will be a shopping cart website whereas the .com is not and never will be

I will keep searching for answers, thanks for taking the time to respond :)


17th May 2010, 02:26 PM
Simone, you are nutty :P

You are trying to find the answer you want to find. I don't think you are going to find it, so start dealing with the realities and come up with a gameplan.

For starters, with the canonical approach. Scratch that as it does not apply when you are going from one domain to a completely different as in the case with a .com versus

I agree with the comments of the best solution probably is to write unique content for each domain.

In your scenario where you explain you can't ... I wouldn't accept that answer by the way - get creative .... then I would exclude any domains with content contained within your cashcow site with a robots.txt.

I don't think you can "separate" things as you intend based on what I know about search engines.

Its a great topic, and I can understand why you want to get this right. Don't do anything, until you are sure - as you don't want to impact

How can you create unique content, and then if you can't should there be robots.txt used to exclude any content that is duplicate.

I'd also start researching some uk/usa sites and seeing what others do. What does amazon do?

18th May 2010, 02:49 AM
Yeah I am Nutty and I want Google to provide a way for this! LOL

What a bitch that is to re-write 100s of products, so just changing words around is going to be enough for us to not be penalised for duplicate content?

I cannot make a Motorola GP340 do something else on the than it already does on the .com, so yeah I can get creative but the features of the product are it :)

I think we need to sit down and really think about this, such as not having any UK products on the .com, then we are sorted and I do not have to re-write

I am going to search this further before doing anything

**** search engines! HA

Nutty :P

18th May 2010, 10:39 AM
LOL, I clicked to see the message but it has gone - donīt know what that had to do with the thread!

Good to see it removed :)

18th May 2010, 10:55 AM
Ya, I removed it as it wasn't related to this thread. I don't think it was spam, but instead something posted here intended for another thread.


Sahan Asad
19th May 2010, 06:58 AM
I just did a quick research on Amazon on their on page SEO – comparing the USA and UK.

Cleary you can see below both are different.

The layout style is the same but the internal links name has different variation or style.

This show you will get penalised if your is same as .com

I’m afraid you may have to do the unthinkable!

<meta name="keywords" content="Amazon,, Books, Online Shopping, Book Store, Magazine, Subscription, Music, CDs, DVDs, Videos, Electronics, Video Games, Computers, Cell Phones, Toys, Games, Apparel, Accessories, Shoes, Jewelry, Watches, Office Products, Sports &amp; Outdoors, Sporting Goods, Baby Products, Health, Personal Care, Beauty, Home, Garden, Bed &amp; Bath, Furniture, Tools, Hardware, Vacuums, Outdoor Living, Automotive Parts, Pet Supplies, Broadband, DSL"/>

<meta name="keywords" content="digital camera, LCD TV, books, DVD, low prices, video games, pc games, software, electronics, home, garden, video, amazon"/>

<title> Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs &amp; more</title>

<title> Low Prices in Electronics, Books, Sports Equipment &amp; more</title>

<meta name="description" content="Online shopping from the earth's biggest selection of books, magazines, music, DVDs, videos, electronics, computers, software, apparel &amp; accessories, shoes, jewelry, tools &amp; hardware, housewares, furniture, sporting goods, beauty &amp; personal care, broadband &amp; dsl, gourmet food &amp; just about anything else."/>

<meta name="description" content="Low prices on digital cameras, MP3, sports equipment, books, music, DVDs, video games, home &amp; garden and much more. Free UK delivery on Amazon orders."/>

19th May 2010, 07:25 AM
Hola Sahan

I too looked on Amazon and noticed they were different so yeah the unthinkable is going to have to happen! :)

I have started that ball rolling and decided to re-write all the products in the databse first for the before we do anything else, this is going to take the longest time but it will be worth it in the end

What a pain! Google need to change that hehehe

19th May 2010, 03:44 PM
I might be in the minority here, but I really don't think you have to change all the content.

You can check out Google's post on it here:

They discuss problems with having the same content targeted at the same users (ie along with but say that same content targeting different users is fine.

Granted, Google is not always totally helpful, but this fits with my experience with duplicate content as well. The worst thing that will probably happen is that they show the wrong version of the site - but if you have the site hosted on an ip within the target country, use the national domain extension, and set it as targeted in webmaster tools, that really shouldn't be a problem.

20th May 2010, 02:47 AM
Hola SmallBizShift

Thanks for sending the link, one worrying aspect here, Google said on the 25 March 2010

"Having the same content for EN-US and EN-UK users is generally fine, though it's possible that we won't notice the fine differences and may end up showing the user the "wrong" version. If that's a problem for you, consider using something like small text banner to encourage the users to visit the preferred version"

So, duplicate content is now fine? Except they may show the wrong version, well to be honest if we have a GP540 on the .com and a GP540 on the, we would not care less if Google showed a client in the USA a website or a .com, the product is the same and if we have on .com and then this product works worldwide, however, I am concerned that what Google have said is not strictly true.

We have been crawled since I made the canonical changes to the URLs and they have updated half, yet we had completed all our issue URLs where the canonical was required, so basically they donīt listen anyway.

Although Google say duplicate is now fine I am not taking the risk of launching with duplicate across and .com because if the **** hits the fan we are then in bigger ****.

I just cannot believe their blog is saying this stuff, it also says that we can use the geographic target setting to inform Google where we the website is for, great and everything but I am still not convinced.

If changing the products is good enough for Amazon it is good enough for me :)

Thanks again, interesting blog post :)