This is actually an issue that’s been around for quite some time regarding search engines, but recently has been a hot topic regarding The Find. Likely this is because an article from Search Engine Land announced that The Find had passed Yahoo Shopping to become number two in terms of average daily users. The duplicate content concern arises occasionally with Comparison Shopping Engines in general. The FeedPerfect team spent some time with The Find to try to clarify any confusion on the question.
Before we address the misconception, let’s take a step back and talk about SEO in general. There are many reasons to do optimization on your product descriptions and page titles.
1. If 500 merchants all upload the same exact product descriptions direct from the manufacturer a search engine can’t determine who is #1 for that content. So making your content unique breaks the 500 way tie between you and other vendors. It is still just one factor in the ranking algorithms. If someone else has a manufacturer product description but is linked back to many other highly trusted sites, they will likely still outrank you.
2. Search engine friendly content is meant to be optimized for searches. That means looking for keywords and phrases that have a higher probability of being searched. SEO friendly is all about hitting on what is likely to be looked for when someone does a search.
The same concepts apply to whether that content is listed in an organic engine or a comparison shopping engine.
Below are some common questions and the answers from our discussions with The Find.
Q: Does your original unique content appearing on The Find hurt your rankings in Google search (organic, not product search) because it is duplicate content?
A: No. There is no risk of a “duplicate content penalty” as The Find’s site is unique from typical web sites. Google will certainly not penalize merchants for having their products/content listed in multiple locations.
Q: Will you rank first as the originator and authority on that optimized search phrase, or will The Find?
A: This is only relevant when talking about longtail searches. If someone searched for your exact product description you will rank very high, 1 or 2. The likelihood is slim of someone searching for exactly that, but that seems to be the concern. In that specific case (someone searches for a whole line of unique text from your product) you may come up 2 and The Find will come up 1.
In this case a long string specific to your description is searched. It is original content that you made or had made. If that content appears on The Find you will likely rank 2. Organic searches like Google reward trust (quality backlinks, good user engagement). Larger websites like The Find tend to have more of those things than smaller ones. So realistically The Find will come up ahead of you like this example.
Almost certainly,The Find is weighted heavier on backlinks, reviews, user interaction and other trust factors than a single merchant store. All things being equal they will beat you out for number 1 on a search like this…
“This Lo-Carb, high protein fitness drink will keep you going through your golf game, or any sport”.
Q: Should I submit different content to The Find to prevent them from ranking ahead of me?
A: The only reason to do that is if you want to be number one on a very specific longtail search instead of number 2. If you send different content to The Find you will probably outrank them on the unique phrase “This Lo-Carb, high protein fitness drink will keep you going through your golf game, or any sport”. But there is no need to do it prevent duplicate content issues effecting your organic Google search results.
Keep in mind, The Find is now the number 2 Comparison Shopping Engine (based on the Average Daily Users metric). Basically millions of potential customers are there looking for your products. The Find is listing your products for free.
Once shoppers are at The Find, it too is a search engine just like an organic search engine. In other words, if you have good content that is search engine friendly you will benefit from it being sent to The Find. If you’ve done your homework and have keywords and phrases with a strong likelihood of being searched in Bing, Yahoo or Google they carry over to searchers at The Find (or any other Shopping Engines where you submit your product feeds).
With The Find having confirmed that there is no duplicate content issue, there is little reason to modify your optimized product content when submitting it to The Find. In fact it’s best to let that same content work for you when users search at The Find.
The FeedPerfect Team