When E-commerce Websites Intentionally Avoid SEO

gilt groupe When would a website not want to optimize for search engines?

When they have more to gain from a closed system. It worked for AOL for a long time, maybe it can also work for
Gilt Groupe, Groupon, and other localized social shopping discount websites.

Most interestingly, neither of Gilt nor Groupon try search engine optimization to sell their offers: traditional SEO is the antithesis of their businesses. groupon logo These custom shopping sites get special deals from merchants who can offer lower prices because the products will not appear in Google searches and there is no fear of price wars from competition.

Efficient pricing is great for the open internet, but bad for businesses. Ubiquitous, instant, free, continual, direct product comparisons drives price towards marginal cost quickly and can reduce profit to zero. Information inefficiency is the best way for e-commerce retailers to protect their profit margins, and they can do this with teaser offers on targeted social shopping websites such as Groupon.com and Gilt.com.

Information inefficiency was the natural state in which we existed pre internet, but now it must be carefully manufactured.

Kudos to Gilt and Groupon for creating services that do not rely on Google or other search engines, and grow based on their own merit and the quality of their content. Other guys also love the freedom that comes from not relying on Google’s whims with their SERP’s.

I provide search engine optimization services, however there are many ways to create successful websites and I want you to be aware of different online marketing strategies and each have their place for different industries.


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10 Responses

  1. I love designing e-commerce sites and am using advanced SEO to create linkable product pages. Our product pages are packed with unique content, reviews, testimonials and real life stories.

  2. The days of appealing to the search engines by “keyword stuffing” your webpage are long gone, but you should still ensure that your keywords appear a few times in the course of your page. I recommend somewhere between a 1% and 4% keyword density. Don’t go any higher than this, or your site will look like a spam site to the search engines, and may be penalized.

  3. The search that brings us to these shopping sites is the same one everybody uses. How are they blocking Google?

  4. I have only just found out about SEO and am applying it to my site. Lots of good content about why to use SEO but I would never want to block search engines from my content.

  5. Excellent write up of how sites can get away with not using search engine optimization. I wish I could!

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