Faceted Navigation

What Is Faceted Navigation?

Faceted navigation is a type of filter within a website that allows users to refine product searches or content listings based on different filter options.

These options include size, colour, brand, price, location, type and more.

what is faceted navigation

Think of faceted navigation as a user-friendly tool that helps people quickly filter and sort what they’re looking for.

While faceted navigation is most common in ecommerce stores, it is also found on large information websites.

For example, a travel website might use faceted navigation to help users find specific content on a location or activity.

Faceted navigation is a great way to make your website more user-friendly.

The only downside is that it can cause SEO problems and affect your search rankings if not configured correctly.

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What Does Faceted Navigation Do?

Faceted navigation helps users sort through a website’s content or products by applying various filters.

Examples of filters include:

  • Size
  • Colour
  • Price
  • Brand
  • Topic
  • Location

Think of faceted navigation as a system that organises and displays search results based on selected attributes.

This streamlines the process of using and navigating a website or online store.

What Is An Example Of Faceted Navigation?

The best example of faceted navigation is an ecommerce store like Amazon.com.

Amazon uses faceted navigation to help customers quickly narrow their search and find exactly what they need among the vast range of products.

amazon faceted navigation example

They have created a large faceted navigation to cater to all the categories, sub-categories and other descriptors within their online store.

Where Is Faceted Navigation Used?

Faceted navigation is most used on large websites with lots of data or pages that need to be sorted quickly.

Websites that use faceted navigation most include:

  • E-commerce platforms and marketplaces
  • Job listing sites
  • Real estate websites
  • Travel booking sites
  • Online libraries or digital archives
  • Retail clothing stores
  • Big electronic retailers
  • Large content sites such as recipe sites

Faceted navigation allows these websites to have many pages, listings or products without compromising the user experience.

What SEO Issues Can Faceted Navigation Cause?

Faceted navigation can cause serious SEO issues like:

  • Duplicate content issues
  • Crawl depth
  • Wasted crawl budget
  • Index bloat
  • PageRank dilution
  • Slow page speed load times

These issues occur because of how many URL combinations the faceted navigation creates.

Here’s what I mean:

Using a filter in faceted navigation creates a new web address (URL) for that specific selection. If you choose several filters at once, it will make more unique URLs for each selection.

Think about how many options there are in most faceted navigations…

seo issues caused by faceted navigation

This ultimately leads to a massive number of URLs displaying the same or very similar content.

Google and other search engines have to crawl each URL to determine which is the most relevant for their search results.

They also need to decide which ones are important enough to save in their index – and which they can ignore.

This costs a lot of time and resources, ultimately hurting your SEO.

Pros And Cons Of Faceted Navigation

Faceted navigation can be a massive benefit for any website. But it also comes with some risks and potential headaches.

That’s why you need to weigh the pros and cons of faceted navigation for each individual website.

Pros Of Faceted Navigation

The pros of faceted navigation is enhanced user experience. It makes it much easier for users to quickly find the products or content they are looking for.

This can lead to improved user engagement and higher conversion rates.

Cons Of Faceted Navigation

The cons of faceted navigation are duplicate content issues and complex URL structures.

These two main issues lead to-

  • Wasted crawl budget
  • Diluted PageRank
  • Index bloat

If not configured properly, faceted navigation can have a very negative impact on your SEO and rankings.

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