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SEO Questions, Short & Long Descriptions

Question

I've been reading your latest posts about the new Google Panda stuff (for lack of a better word) and I had two quick questions about how it relates to how we do our site:

  1. we don't copy and paste from other websites however we do sometimes copy and paste from word just so we can spell check. Is this a concern? Also, we often keep either the short or long description the same for several pieces by one artist as they are made the same way or have some of the same detail info. Is that an issue?
  2. I thought we had once been told that the Long Description area was where search engines read from the most, is that still correct? That's the area we try to push all our key words and original info.

Thank you.

Answer

These are some good questions.  I'm going to break out each question with my response:

  • Question:  We don't copy and paste from other websites however we do sometimes copy and paste from word just so we can spell check.  Is this a concern?
    • Answer:  I'm glad to hear you are writing your own content and not copying and pasting it from some other source.  However, copying and pasting it from Word is not great because Microsoft has been know to add additional HTML to the page for thing like curly quotes.  Most modern browsers come with a spell checker built right in now so instead we'd prefer if you simply typed your text right into the editor and not use Microsoft Word.  See Microsoft Word is Evil!
  • Question:  Also, we often keep either the short or long description the same for several pieces by one artist as they are made the same way or have some of the same detail info. Is that an issue?
    • Answer:  Yes, this could cause you an issue if that's the only content on the page.  Basically, all those page will have the same content and Google will consider it duplicate.  Instead, it is better to have one page for your artist and then link to it from the Product Page.  I would also work hard to ensure the short description is unique to the product.
  • Question:  I thought we had once been told that the Long Description area was where search engines read from the most, is that still correct? That's the area we try to push all our key words and original info.
    • Answer: Both the Short and Long Descriptions are used for SEO.  However, as noted above creating all this duplicate content isn't the best scenario.  Instead, you should try to create pages in your website or blog on a particular artist in hopes that you become the de facto standard on this topic for Google.

However, please be aware that simply updating the information associate with your products is not enough anymore!  You must constantly blog and write about items that inspire you, your employees and your customers.  Google will pick up on these topics and rank you higher for those items in search.

Please let me know if you need anything else.  Thank you.

 

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