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  1. #1
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    Default Why Google SEO is not friendly to zencart

    I upload a copy of the same product data to magento, shopify
    Zencart three systems, the result zencart ranking is the bottom, the search results are ranked in front is magento, shopify system display results.

    Is there any way to change a phenomenon.
    How to optimize to make Google rank higher than the other two systems。

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Why Google SEO is not friendly to zencart

    A few things to consider of the top:

    Have you installed the newest Google tracking/analytics code in the html_header.php for your template?

    Have you setup all of the analytics tracebacks and required tracking components relative to your preferences?

    Have you made certain product names, descriptions, meta tags area ll entered correctly without error or special characters/html that may create problems?

    Have you run the Google site scan report to see what Google can tell you is wrong?
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Why Google SEO is not friendly to zencart

    Quote Originally Posted by twitchtoo View Post
    A few things to consider of the top:

    Have you installed the newest Google tracking/analytics code in the html_header.php for your template?

    Have you setup all of the analytics tracebacks and required tracking components relative to your preferences?

    Have you made certain product names, descriptions, meta tags area ll entered correctly without error or special characters/html that may create problems?

    Have you run the Google site scan report to see what Google can tell you is wrong?
    My problem is that it is included in Google, but the ranking will be lower than other systems.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Why Google SEO is not friendly to zencart

    what modules do you use for SEO? Have you submitted your website to Google Webmaster?
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Why Google SEO is not friendly to zencart

    Can you provide the URLs? I can produce some reports that might tell us exactly why.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Why Google SEO is not friendly to zencart

    So you have duplicate content on 3 platforms and you think that the Zen Cart one ranks less because it's Zen Cart? Google doesn't rank duplicate content well....... My Zen Cart ranks great
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Why Google SEO is not friendly to zencart

    That made me think. Are all three systems being run under the same domain/sub-domain name? Were they set up to each run for a period of time then "replaced" by another for a period of time then replaced by yet another? Or were all three up and running at the same time?

    As always, information about the test scenario helps.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Why Google SEO is not friendly to zencart

    You need to be a lot more specific about how you conducted the experiment.

    Were they all created at the same time?
    Were they all running at the same time?
    Are they all on the same server? If so, it will be counted as duplicate content even if on different domains.
    Are the category structure, names, descriptions identical?
    Magento and shopify have many additional fields that zen cart does not have. Did you create each listing with identical data, which means using only the fields/data sections available in zen cart?
    Do you use an XML sitemap in all 3 carts?

    Too much unknown at this point to draw any useful conclusions or insights as to why they were ranked the way they are....

    Zen Cart and it's community are the best!!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Why Google SEO is not friendly to zencart

    I think this raises a valid point - maybe the title should have been "why is Zen Cart's SEO structure / attitude to SEO so lacking?"

    An in a nutshell statement - ZC is built for web developers to customize for their clients, primarily .... and many web developers care little about the performance of their clients sites beyond that it works as designed - it is then up to the user to rank their site. The problem is that the ZC platform is not user friendly and certainly not SEO friendly - there are fundamentals lacking in its structure.

    The most basic of structures for very basic SEO these days is 'user friendly' url generation - not mandatory and yes there are still the diehards that are not convinced ... and yes Google can very readily handle the dynamic url system as used by ZC. The problem is that 'user friendly url's' are expected by searchers and hence by Google. Unfortunately Zen Cart allocates this necessary function to third party (community developer) plugins of which there are two and both have been found desperately wanting over the past 2-3 years (at least) with sometimes disastrous consequences for website ranking - exacerbated by inherent issues of lack of efficient compatibility / interaction with another critical SEO function third party plugin, SiteMapXML. Authors for all 3 of these essential function plugins are no longer associated with Zen Cart (two have sadly passed - vale). This left a void which has been attempted to be filled by a few good samaritan community members, sometimes successfully, sometimes not so.

    The on / off - works but no quite correctly etc etc situation with such programs has not been helpful at all for the website owners, those trying to make a living selling their products or services. It has cost me dealry a few times.

    The website developer has installed the required SEO plugins for the client - not much more he/she can do - not their issue if they do not function optimally. MANY, many website owners know little about SEO and many have no idea why their site is not ranking well - there can be a myriad of reasons BUT if in a general sense most of the basics that can be controlled by the website owner are taken care of then what else could be the problem? SEO experts and SEO forums make a killing from these people looking for answers, the holy grail of SEO.

    I am a student of SEO, (far, very far from being an authority) and I keep learning daily looking for information that will help me maximize the potential of my sites .... only to find that plugins have been working against my efforts .... the 3 mentioned above, Image Handler (now fixed by Cindy (lat9) - it was screwing up the image urls by adding _LRG suffix arbitrarily - so SiteMapXML was generating incorrect urls for Google that resulted in 404 errors).

    This thread I started a few days ago https://www.zen-cart.com/showthread....28#post1364828 ... it highlights some other fundamentally flawed issues with how ZC and its plugins do not handle url's efficiently to optimize SEO and hence give the website owner a better chance at ranking better.

    In respect to the specifics of the original poster.

    I for one am finding in small niche product types that I have been involved in for a number of years and ranked well in that sites in these niches that use the Shopify platform are now ranking better than my sites where critical metric says their 'site performance' is inferior.

    Examples include Google PageSpeed test - my site(s) consistently around 86-89 - the particular Shopify site(s) are typically scoring between 4 and about 18 (yes that slow - technically fails - so the influence of site speed in the ranking algorithm is minimal to say the least) - using MOZ and AHREF's the DA and DR numbers are very low, under 15, for these particular Shopify sites. I do not put a lot of faith in the metrics provided by these organizations but they are least an indicator (primarily based on link authority - the old PageRank).

    So putting things in perspective - one Shopify site sitting at #1 for primary search terms, a position my ZC site held for years, has only been on the scene for about 2 years, has far fewer products, less overall content, fewer inbound links (and poor authority links) and has thousands of 'reviews' (either imported from Amazon or Etsy or both - Shopify has a plugin for this exact purpose) and is selling inferior Chinese product. If you were to critically analyze the two sites, mine and the Shopify one (which I've been doing for a while) you would shake your head in wonder as to how it could rank #1. Every analysis site I have used results in the same thing.

    The other example is similar.

    I have often wondered what it is in the Shopify platform / structure that Google likes, and conversely what is it in the ZC structure that Google doesn't like.

    So in conclusion - the questioners question in my opinion needs to be answered in such a way that it addresses openly and honestly Zen Carts weaknesses (and strengths if any) in its SEO structure.

    There are some smart cookies in this community - I have no doubt some will have some very good insights into how Shopify (and Magento) structure their SEO such that it appeals to Google moreso than does the ZC structure (if that is the case).

    cheers,
    Mike
    Last edited by shags38; 12 Jan 2020 at 01:06 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Why Google SEO is not friendly to zencart

    An in a nutshell statement - ZC is built for web developers to customize for their clients, primarily .... and many web developers care little about the performance of their clients sites beyond that it works as designed - it is then up to the user to rank their site. The problem is that the ZC platform is not user friendly and certainly not SEO friendly - there are fundamentals lacking in its structure.
    This is one of the most debatable statements you will find on this forum.

    WADR, it is the client who creates the most problems with the so-called SEO. Zen Cart is kicking @$$ for several of our clients without any SEO. One, with constant hassling from us that they need better images of their product. It seems their content surpasses the poor image and fancy URL.

    The client who constantly tinkers with the site to "improve SEO" IMHO is synonymous with "say goodbye to rankings." Each added mod, changed page layout, added description can force the SEs to reevaluate the site. The forum is full of "I did this and now the URLs are wrong." The main job of the SE is to remain current. It's long been known that the quickest way to get noticed by the SEs is to post your URL here in the forum. A newly listed site is ranked in hours versus days or weeks without the post.

    When the client keeps "tweaking" the SEs keep reevaluating. Sometimes the algorithms will default to sending the site to manual review. If another "tweak" is done during this process, it might be understood that the SEs might assume the client is trying to "work the system" instead of providing a working site with the information needed for a customer to make a purchase.

    Latest result of this is PayPal holding money based on recent activity/duplicity in a merchant's activity. They are even tracking price history to evaluate your status as a merchant.

    Out of the box, Zen Cart is more powerful than the competition and comes closer to meeting what the SEs are looking for than any other. And, for those not following the work on 1.5.7, the work is impressive in moving Zen Cart even farther ahead of the competition.

    Of course, like most SEO statements, my thoughts are opinions based on experience. The main opinion is that modifying a URL will ever be the deciding factor for a SE to recommend a site to the public.

    Use the sitemap plugin, make sure images have alt tags, make sure information is in the form of text and not just an image, work on meta tags, watch your headings if not using responsive_classic (see like to see a proper use of h1, h2, h3, etc), make sure your site resolves to only ONE man URL (if you can get to both http://your_site.com and http://www.your_site.com the SEs will rank you lower for duplicity), make sure you have a robots.txt file WITH a sitemap link, do you have a custom 404 file, is the site responsive to mobile/tablet, does the SSL match the site (SSL for www and site not www will cause problems), and monitor legibility on devices. "These are a few of my favorite things." Not presented in any specific sequence but, doing those things will increase your rank far more than any URL change.

    Will this change the way everyone looks at SEO? I doubt it. I once had a coworker announce that she was going to move her car from the rear of the building to the side. When asked why, she announced that the last two times the main network printer had not worked, she had moved her vehicle and apparently its location had effected the "network airwaves." Well, the last two times the printer malfunctioned (out of paper and jam), she had mentioned it on the way out to lunch. I fixed the problem and felt no reason to notify the whole shop. Since the printer worked upon her return to a different parking spot, that was the method she would use the next time the printer failed. All attempts to convince her that cat5 operation was not reliant on the location of her Honda, so we just checked the printer every time we noticed her go move the vehicle.

    If you must mess with the URLs, understand that EVERY time you do, the SEs will regroup to evaluate you. This will often result in at least a temporary drop in rank and traffic.

    If you are one of those constant tweakers, do it on a sub-domain that is blocked from SE eyes. Get it where you want it there and THEN move it to the main site.
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