How to index similar products has always been one of the main challenges for site owners. The products that are similar to each other and only differ by its size or color are considered to be duplicates and are flagged.
This question has been raised by site owners on numerous occasions. It has been suggested that in order to avoid the flagging of the similar products, it is best to choose one main product as canonical and arrange the similar ones under the main canonical as it is the main one that gets indexed. However, Google typically shows non – canonicals in narrowed down, specific searches. Google also confirmed that when using canonical tag, the pages are combined and only one version of them is indexed.
The site owners should insure that the chosen main page has listings of all other variants, too. In order to avoid a situation where a potential customer misses the desired product, the site owner should include links to all other variants of the product.
The site owners should always come up with their own strategies taking into account user’s perspective rather than just following only Google’s instructions. A common mistake often made by site owners is in thinking that the more pages the better which is not always the case. It is always useful to explore some competitor’s strategies and success rates. The characteristics of the product will determine what best solution is. For example, for clothes or shoes, it would be advisable to put the products in categories for gents and ladies on separate, individual pages. If the site sells screws then all different size and length variants should be listed on the same page rather than making individual pages for the same product.
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