During a John Mueller hangout, one SEO professional asked him about making their e-shop category pages more informative.
The situation is they run an e-commerce website. And they are now in a stage where they want to make major updates to their category pages, and one draft.
In one draft, they want to get rid of the product listings. So they would have the product listings with a faceted search, where you can filter for the products you are looking for. His question is this:
When they remove the whole product listing of category pages, would they have a disadvantage in the rankings? Because first, all the competitors have these kinds of product listings.
And second, their guess is that these are such an established element for e-commerce pages that users expect something along these lines – an overview of all these products and filters, such as to search for the products they want.
John said that he doesn’t see any problems there, from an SEO point of view. He thinks there are different things you would want to watch out for, so that Google can still find all of the individual products that they have cleaned the links there.
But, if you’re just kind of redesigning this kind of a category page and making it look more like an informational page, John would not expect any problems with that.
He also doesn’t believe that Google would do anything special with these kinds of category pages in search anyway.
From this perspective, you’re just changing the design, essentially. He believes this would be different if it were a product page, and you were to change it completely. Because they do try to recognize product pages and figure out “Oh, where’s the price? Where is the availability?” These kinds of things.
If you make it look entirely different, John believes that this would impact how Google picks up the product pages.
And whether they can show it in product search results or not.
This happens at approximately the 21:47 mark in the video.