How to Fix Shopify Vendors, WPM, and Search Page Indexation Spam
May 18, 2023
Towards the end of November and early December, a considerable uptick in indexed pages caught our attention on several Shopify brands we work with. To provide some perspective, one of our client accounts experienced a surge in indexed pages from just 100 to over 500k in a month.
Most of the spam URLs had these structures-
This sudden growth in the number of unnatural pages highlighted several concerns on our clients’ Shopify websites:
- The number of new crawled and indexed pages increased by hundreds of thousands daily.
- The resulting index bloat slowed the indexing of new products, collections, and blog pages.
- The sites experienced a decline in traffic and rankings for many non-brand keywords.
We found numerous other Shopify store owners, including those with experienced developers, struggle to find clear guidance on the right solution.
There were several recommendations from different users in the Shopify Community, like redirecting spammy pages to the homepage, altering page titles to “Not Found,” utilizing robots.txt to block pages, generating 404 responses, and submitting removal requests via Google Search Console, modifying meta robot tags, etc.
Shopify addressed the issue by inserting “noindex, nofollow” into the robots meta tags of URLs sharing the same path as spammy URLs. However, this solution proved less effective when the robots.txt file was set up to prevent Google’s crawlers from accessing these pages.
As a result, many Shopify websites had to deal with the surge in indexed pages for months.
Naman is the founder of Cove. He has 10+ years of experience executing SEO and growth for eCommerce and SaaS companies.
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