Help with Comparison Page Structure

September 24, 2010 Steve

Today’s Clinic question comes from Bob. He wants some advice on how to structure his comparison pages with content.

“This is a general question really and might apply to any affiliate site.

Suppose you want to feature a product that has several models and is available from several retailers. If you’re not using JS to bring in the comparisons and there’s say 12 mentions of the model, perhaps with just a model number varying…

Presumably that could suffer a keyword stuffing penalty?

So, suppose it’s also got a ~500 words of content that someone has written.

2 options – wondering which is ‘safest’ from an seo point of view:

1. Keep the content on one page with a big click-here box and put the comparison on another robots blocked page (then risk not having direct call to action on indexed pages).

2. Put it all on the same page and hope the algo doesn’t take offence.

It’s very noticeable that the big comparison sites have pages right up high in Google where there is very little original content on the page, and plenty aren’t running JS to show the comparison. So presumably those are ranked because of the site authority.

However, if you’ve got a newish site, what’s the safest option?

Also an afterthought: if you use JS to bring in comparisons that are hidden from the engines and you’re an affiliate site, aren’t you still at risk of a bad manual review if you don’t have a decent level of content as well (or is that paranoid).

Thanks Bob”


Hi Bob

I wouldn’t worry too much about a penalty or mess about keeping robots out of a certain page etc. Just build a good site and you should be fine.

It takes a lot more to annoy Google than most people think. Whilst you may not have loads of original content (although it’s always a good idea) if the comparison you’re providing is decent they’re unlikely to give you a mad manual review at least.

Of course over time Google does tweak the algo to ensure that users get the best experience so you might get penalised. Having said that you can still send paid traffic to the site and if it’s well built then it should be a good converter for you.


Hi Bob

Personally, I’d keep it all on the one page, displaying the prices only (therefore not showing the product title, in this case slightly differing model numbers) embedded within the main content. I’d serve the prices using Java, as I see no benefit in making this content spiderable.

You’re spot on I think that the big players are ranking well without much in the way of content due to their authority overall – If you want to beat them, you’re going to need something better, whether that be a good level of unique content, user reviews, or lots of links to the product pages.

In short, I wouldn’t worry about getting a bad manual review for having a low level of content. I’d make sure I had a good level of content! The days of knocking up a quick 100,000 page “price comparison” site are long gone I’m afraid – There is no easy route to riches anymore!

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One Response to “Help with Comparison Page Structure”

  1. Kier, if Google penalises a site in the SERPs surely it will also penalise it if you try to promote it using AdWords?

    Or did you mean something else…

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