For a while now, I have been trying to get my head around Facet Navigation; asking and reading many questions on this Forum.
Whilst I have a better understanding of its function and implementation, I am still left with a handful of questions; in particular:
When creating a Facet Navigation, should the focus be on user experience only; completely ignoring any approach to optimise for SEO?
Simply put, shouldn't Facet Navigation URLs be prevented from being indexed from Search Results?
Evidently, Facet Navigation can cause a great deal of problems for a website; especially eCommerce sites. Duplicate content being the greatest concern, with other issues, such as the dilution of link equity being raised.
I have asked a handful of Facet Navigation questions here, with one pointing me in the direction of Moz's article on Facet Navigation.
This was a useful article, exploring both the fundamentals of Facet Navigation as well as dealing with the issue of duplicate content.
After reading Moz's article, as well as many other (often conflicting as it usually seems to be the case) online resources, it became evident that there were multiple ways in dealing with the issue of duplicate content and diluted link equity.
Excuse my overly simplistic approach here but aren't all these 'clever ways', simply overkill?
Let's take Moz's very own example ...
They highlight Macy's Black Dresses. Specifically, highlighting the following URLs:
Macys > Clothing > Women's > Dresses
Macys > Clothing > Women's > Black Dresses
Whilst the article suggests to
rel=nofollow the Facet variant, it does not suggest to
rel=noindex. Indicating, that indexing this Facet would be ok. Admittedly, this could just be their personal approach rather than the 'right' way.
Personally, the Facet variant does not look as clean as the 'simple URL' structures. As such, this could cause issues, such as people remembering such a URL for future reference.
What would be wrong with simply
Sticking with Moz's example, you would continue to have the above URLs, however if 'Black Dresses' seemed to be a popular combination (I would expect it would be), then a 'Black Dresses' Product Category could be created, creating a URL, such as:
Macys > Clothing > Women's > Dresses > Black Dresses
With all the talk about such 'clever' and 'complex' Facet systems, I feel that I am either missing something with Facet Navigations or there seems to be a joy in needless complications, when it comes to Facets.