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Front Line SEO: Jewelry Product Catalogs Part 2

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When Blue Nile opened their virtual doors, they created what has become a general standard with how online jewelry catalogs are presented.

They've since evolved their design to be testimonial-centric, but their original design was copied so much from 2001 - 2003 that only we old-timers actually recognize the degree of Blue Nile's influence on the whole industry. And now we realize there are serious SEO problems with it.

A popular convention started by Blue Nile is a section like this on every product detail page:
"This Item Comes With"
* Free Shipping
* 30 Day Returns
* Free Gift Box
* Free Appraisal

Another popular convention from Blue Nile is a section that looks like this:
"Need Assistance"
* For assistance or customization, please call one of our knowledgeable sales people Toll Free.
* Note: Price and availability are subject to change without notice. View our Product Policies for more information.
* Please call one of our experienced jewelry consultants.

Would you believe that Blue Nile also started this one:
"Shipping Information"
* If you order by this time today your items will be shipped by 5PM. Special order will be shipped within 3 business days.

To make matters worse, they also created the now standard format of providing all the jewelry details in a table:
* Stock #
* Metal Type
* Diamond Shape
* Total Ct. Weight
* Cut
* Etc.

As search engines have become smarter, this structured information has two consequences for your website:
1. It's highly duplicate content
2. It looks like standardized page content that Google will ignore.

Although this information is still an important part of selling your jewelry, you need to avoid these problems.

Here's how... take these 4 sections of your product details and hide them until the user clicks to activate them. This is done through style sheets and JavaScript which is very easy for a programmer to set up.

To go one step further, the three sections for "shipping," "assistance," and "comes with" should be part of a different standardized page that displays through an <iframe> called within the hidden area that only shows when clicked. Search engines still have difficulty reading iframes and this information is useless for your SEO anyway, so this strategy is the perfect way to nullify the duplicate content.

On the other hand, the table of jewelry specifications should be embedded within a hidden area that Google can read when it indexes your page.

Please consider these strategies for other duplicate content on your site unique to you. Some jewelry sites have directions to measure your ring size (like diamondnexuslabs.com) and many have details about the diamond certificates of authority. Each of these are great candidates to hide until the user clicks to view them.

Between these suggestions today and those yesterday, your product detail page should be structured with all the relevant information immediately visible you the user, with interactive ability to display the mundane information only when the user wants it.

Our recent testing shows that information hidden on a page is given lower SEO weight than what is immediately visible. This is especially easy to see when using the Google page preview feature on the SERP.

Hopefully, these past two days of ideas will help you better rebuild your online jewelry catalog. During your next website upgrade, you should probably present these ideas to your web programmer.
AT: 06/29/2011 11:57:40 AM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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