We’re struggling to make our category pages rank apart from the usual title tags, H1 tags on page content. Is there any area where we should be putting our efforts in? Is it content? Should we be doing link building?
JOHN MEULLER (Webmaster Analyst from Google):
So this is something that depends a lot, I think, on the website itself as well in that sometimes category pages are useful for users. And sometimes category pages are less useful for users. And from our point of view, we try to show category pages that are useful and relevant to users in the appropriate search results. But we use almost all of the different category pages to discover the actual products themselves. If you’re linking to the individual products on your website from a category page, then we will follow those links and learn about those products in any case. And we’ll try to rank those products appropriately. Whether or not it makes sense for us to rank the category pages themselves instead of the product pages, for example, that’s a different question. For some sites, there is a lot of really useful content on a category page where there’s information about the type of product that this is or some background information. Then that’s something that might be really useful to show. But it’s not the case that I would say every type of category page needs to show up in the search results. Every type of category page has a problem if it’s not ranking well in the search results. That really depends a lot on the page itself. And doing things like title tags, H1 tags, I think those are good things to do in any case. But just by having those elements on a page doesn’t mean that a category page is suddenly relevant for users.