Why Shopify Product Filter Systems Harm Your SEO

Shopify product & collection page filters are a serious problem when it comes to high level technical SEO. I’ve talked about Shopify’s technical SEO issues before. It’s Shopify’s biggest downfall and probably why a substantially larger amount of retailers with large inventories and complex filtering requirements haven’t already joined the mass exodus to Shopify.

The Technical SEO Problem with Shopify’s Product Filters & Tags

Because you can’t access Shopify’s robots.txt file to control what Google can or can’t crawl, and the fact that product filter page URLs are not editable or accessible, you’re left with a substantial amount of duplicate and conflicting collection page URLs, metadata and content that seriously harm organic performance in the search engines.

A typical fashion retailer will need to sell products by ‘brand’ and by ‘product type’. These products will come in various sizes, colours, materials and brands etc. Unlike other ecommerce platforms, Shopify’s product and collection page filters and tags are created dynamically. Shopify’s ‘metafields’ editor allows you to optimise the Meta Title, but it doesn’t allow you to edit the rest of the on-page SEO elements such as the H1 Tag; Meta Description Tag, the indexable content and the Alt= Tag. etc. As a result, all Shopify theme developers deal with these conflicts in one of two ways.

#1 – Blissful Ignorance of Product Filter Issues

An extremely large percentage of Shopify designers and theme developers will be blissfully ignorant of the need to not create duplicate and conflicting collection page URLs . They’ll be blissfully unaware that creating Shopify Collection page filters causes mass duplication penalties that will seriously damage a sites ability to rank in the search engines.

#2 – Block The Duplicate Pages From the Search Engines Entirely

The best selling Shopify apps for product and collection page filters deal with the collection page duplicates by blocking them from the search engines entirely with a ‘canonical tag’ back to the root collection page. This means that every filter page URL on the site is blocked excluding 1000’s 1000’s of potential revenue generating pages that could be crawled, indexed and ranked in the search engines. This is a screenshot of a well known fashion brand excluding the url for size 12 dresses:

Shopify Product Filter Bad Practice Code

The bottom red container shows that /dresses/size=12 page is canonicalized back to the root collection page [dresses] meaning that Google should disregard this page and rank the root collection page instead of the filter page. Last month in the UK alone there was 880 searches for ‘dresses size 12’, not to mention 1000’s of additional searches there were for sizes for 14, 16, and 18 etc.

Google Ads Keyword Planner Womens Dresses Size 12

Imagine how many pages other pages are being blocked from the search engines if you consider every size, colour, material etc. filters are being blocked too.

I have also seen JavaScript Shopify product filters being used too but again, these are great for UX but terrible for the search engines as they don’t generate any URLs whatsoever. The stores ‘collection’ and ‘product’ pages are therefore the only pages that can be optimised, missing out on the highest converting search terms that include both size and colour for fashion retailers.

Up until now there has only ever been 2 options for Shopify stores owners but now there’s a 3rd option developed by us called AAP® SEO Product Filters.

Our unique product filter technology allows you to unleash 1000’s & 1000’s of optimised filter page URLs in to the search engines that will be crawled, index and ranked in the search engines to help you generate substantially more organic traffic, rankings and revenue.

What Do AAP® SEO Product Filters Do?

Unlike any other solution or attempt we’ve seen, our technology allows you to create the most technically optimised filter pages ever possible. They allow you create:

  • Unique, optimised URLs
  • Unique, optimised meta titles [different from H1’s]
  • Unique, optimised meta descriptions
  • Unique, optimised on-page SEO content
  • Unique, optimised alt=tags

I’ve seen a few attempts a the odd word different in the ‘meta title tags’ but none anywhere near the advanced level that AAP® SEO Product Filters can offer.

How Do Shopify AAP® SEO Product Filters Work?

Here’s an example of our solution working in action for a fashion store starting on a collection page for ‘mens hoodies’.

  • Notice the URL /mens-hoodies
  • Notice the H1 ‘men’s hoodies
  • Notice the unique content ‘designer mens hoodies’.

Notice what happens when we now click the colour BLUE filter in the sidebar.

AAP SEO Product Filters
  • URL is now mens-hoodies/blue
  • H1 is now ‘Blue Men’s Hoodies
  • On-page SEO content is now ‘Blue Designer Mens Hoodies

Now let’s look at the important ‘off-page’ technical SEO factors:

AAP SEO Product Filters Metadata
  • Unique meta title tag ‘Blue men’s hoodies’
  • Unique meta description ‘Blue Designer Men’s Hoodies…..’
  • The URL /mens-hoodies/blue ‘self canonicalizes’ allowing Google in

And finally, the optimised image alt=tag:

AAP SEO Product & Collection Page Filters

This unique technology fixes Shopify’s biggest technical SEO flaw. 

This technology only works with themes by Integrity Commerce®