Frys.com is the website of Fry’s Electronics Inc. They sell electronics, computer hardware, software, home appliances and other items through 34 stores located in nine states. According Wikipedia the company posted sales of $2.35 billion in 2007. For the same period of time website www.frys.com generated about $48.4 million in sales (about 2.06% of total sales). I think this percentage is very low. Let’s take a look at the website to find out possible SEO related reasons as to why.
The website has many mirrored pages under different subdomains:
The search engines see multiple copies of the same page under different subdomains as different pages. This creates duplicated content problems across those subdomains. It would be better to have just one URL per page. There are different ways to fix these problems from updating the content management system to blocking mirrored subdomains by robots.txt
The website’s content management system generates random session IDs every time visitors or search engine bots access the website. This also creates a duplicated content problem because the same page/product could be indexed under different URLs.
For example, Google found and indexed 11,100 pages with session IDs. Many of these indexed pages are duplicated copies.
The website’s content management system has 2 different ways to generate category and subcategory pages. It creates duplicated pages under different URLs. For example, the same category page could be found under these URLs:
It’s better to use just one type of internal links (in this case second style of internal linking is preferable).
Dynamic variables in URLs
In addition to duplicate content problems described above in items #1 and #2 the website’s content management system generates more dynamic variables. This creates even more variations of duplicated content. Example below shows a list of URLs that belongs just one product.
The content management system created 8 copies of the same page under different URLs. All these URLs are indexed by Google. The website should have one URL per unique page. There are different ways to solve this problem. Everything depends on the particular content management system and its functionality.
The website has an inconsistent internal linking scheme. Some links have trailing slashes and some of them don’t. For example, the home page has two types of links pointed to the same page:
It’s better to stay with one of linking schemes (personally, I prefer to use trailing slashes)
Title tags on product pages
Title tags play very important role in on-page optimization. They show the search engines topic of the page. Product pages on www.frys.com have very short and low quality titles. For example, this monitor currently has the title “FRYS.com|Samsung”. It would be better to use a more informative tag—for example “Widescreen LCD 22″ Monitor Samsung 2243SWX at Frys.com”. It could help the website rank better in search results for long-tail search terms.
Redirect from old domain
The company used to have an online store under domain outpost.com. In 2006 the company opened their new online store under frys.com. Currently outpost.com has temporary (type 302) redirect to frys.com. It makes sense to change this redirect to permanent (type 301) which will help pass the link power from outpost.com to frys.com
There are other SEO related problems with the website. The items listed above describe just my key issues. Fixing these problems involves some programming time and budget. But this one-time investment could be justified when you think about increasing online sales for website that has already generates about $50 million per year.