Shopify Product Tags Can Cause Problems For Your SEO But We Reveal A Quick Fix

by Jason / Posted

shopify-subpages-product-tags

 

Not many people would complain with an ecommerce store that’s easy to navigate and is user friendly. But as a store owner, you should try to remain aware how design elements on a Shopify store can effect search engine optimisation and your rankings. Let’s look into a very common problem that of filtering a collections using Shopify product tags that cause duplicate content issues.

 

 

 

What are Shopify product tags?

An ecommerce store that has many products and many variations of a particular product may require the use of product tags to help a user navigate items quickly and efficiently. Let’s take an example from a client we recently applied our design expertise towards, La Vida Boutique.

They use product filter tags to great effect.

 

 

La Vida Boutique Shopify Product Tags

 

 

 

As you can see, their filters are precise and cover all variations from colour, size and designer. This provides superb navigability and an exemplary user experience when navigating an ecommerce store.

 

However …

 

 

 

Why are product tags bad for SEO?

For every new tag page created on Shopify a new web address, technically known as a URL, is also created. For every new page created a unique meta-title, description and page copy is required to prevent duplicate content across your store.

 

For a large site like La Vida Boutique, that’s a lot of product tag pages across many category pages. These pages are indexed in Google and other search engines causing a lot of duplicate pages. If a site has too many duplicate pages compared to unique pages, it has the chance of triggering the Google Panda algorithm, the algo that makes sure your site is healthy, optimised and catered for users.

 

Although Shopify do provide automated code in the theme to prevent this called a ‘rel canonical’ – a fancy way of saying “Dear Google, please refer to this page as the page to index over other pages like this”. When it comes to product filtering tags, the rel canonical tag should point to the main category page it stems from so in the case of the “Cameo Tops” tags below:

 

 

<link rel=”canonical”  href=http://lavidaboutique.co.uk/collections/tops/cameo” />

 

 

The canonical tag should actually be:

 

 

 

<link rel=”canonical”  href=http://lavidaboutique.co.uk/collections/tops” />

 

 

This would then prevent all the filter tag pages becoming indexed in search engines and prevent the dreaded duplicate page problem. However this tag is not actually editable in Shopify as of yet on a page per page basis.

 

 

 

Help! How do I fix this?

We found a piece of code over at 11Heavens that you can put into your theme.liquid inside the head element.

 

 

{% if template contains ‘collection’ and current_tags %}

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex” />

<link rel=”canonical” href=”{{ shop.url }}{{ collection.url }}” />

{% else %}

<link rel=”canonical” href=”{{ canonical_url }}” />

{% endif %}

 

Make sure you remove the <link rel=”canonical” href=”{{ canonical_url }}” /> tag as the code above will replace it.

 

This will then no index any tag pages from the search engines and prevent duplicate content issues.

We have to say this is a nice little work around that may just save your store from getting mauled to death by the temperamental Panda due to Shopify SEO product tags.

 

 

You may also like to read: 25 Common SEO Questions Store Owners Ask (With Answers)

 

 

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