I am looking to add tags to each product on my site e.g. brown, x products under £x, second hand x, refurbished x etc.

Once you click these tags it will then search for other tags that are similar. I was thinking of using a url structure of www.site.com/tags/this%is%the%tag%name and then simply have a page that shows the results of all the products with that tag.

I heard a while back that google generally ignores or downgrades anything with ‘search’ in the url and was wondering if anyone had any experience with this? Also, would you say /tags/ is a pretty valid destination or is it best to break it down and add more levels e.g. /product-type/product%variation

Thanks in advance!

2 Answers 2


You might find these two Matt Cutts videos interesting:

As long as it is useful for your users it should not become a problem. (If it would you can always set up NOINDEX,FOLLOW META tags to indicate that you don't want the pages indexed).

What can become a problem is if you display too much content on the result pages in a way they are recognized as "duplicate" content so they won't rank well or at all. The majority of content should be on the detail page of the items.

  • great thanks @initall these videos were very helpful and it sent me on a youtube watching spree of various url/ keyword hunts. I'm just going to reply in the answer below regarding a few other things.
    – Theo G
    Oct 11, 2012 at 14:33
  • hey @initall I wanted to click both of these answers as correct, but it seems that you can only choose one. Thank a lot for your help!
    – Theo G
    Oct 11, 2012 at 14:40
  • @TheoG What a pitty you didn't try with me first! :-) Glad I could help!
    – initall
    Oct 11, 2012 at 15:19
  • Just read this post that maybe of interest to everyone... Its about Google Tag Manger - analytics.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/google-tag-manager.html
    – Theo G
    Oct 15, 2012 at 14:39

By all means you could use a hierarchical URL approach for tags. The key is to keep it structured. As a for instance, I would use the following approach given your scenarios:

  • /tags/products/color/brown
  • /tags/products/price/under-100
  • /tags/products/status/refurbished

Assuming all products are properly tagged in a database, it then becomes a rather trivial matter of fetching them based off the URL. As far as pulling up similar tags, that is also trivial if you implement it in this type of hierarchical manner.

As far as this being a bad / black-hat technique, that is simply untrue. If you were creating dynamic pages to be indexed based off of user search results, that would be bad. However you are not doing that... you are creating permalink search pages with relevant content, so you should be in the clear. On that note, however, I would say not to create too many tags. The lower the ratio of (actual content) / (tag search results) is, the more spammy your site will appear to bots.

  • Thanks a lot for this @Moses this has made me think how I should be using tags.... I may just scrap the use of tags all together and use categories in stead e.g. one of my products may run under many categories. Therefore I may remove the tag all together e.g. site/product-category/product-group/name-of-product.html I think tonight I'm going to do some homework and define my categories, so they don't get over bloated!
    – Theo G
    Oct 11, 2012 at 14:36

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