I have a shopping site with two kinds of pages: individual product pages and category pages. The category pages contain links to products that fall into a certain category.
The problem is that when searching for a specific product, the category containing a product almost always ranks higher than the product itself:
Google seems to take my
<meta> descriptions and append onto them the product names, which boosts the position of the category pages far above the actual product page.
Worse yet, Google sometimes hides the individual product page as a duplicate of the category page:
In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 182 already displayed. If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.
Is there any way to demote my categories in search rankings? I could just prevent Googlebot from indexing them, but this seems like it would do more harm than good.