Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 14 of 14
  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Croatia
    Posts
    1,204
    Plugin Contributions
    12

    Default Re: Why Google SEO is not friendly to zencart

    Quote Originally Posted by dbltoe View Post
    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.
    OMG, you just made my day!!!
    Zen Cart Point of Sale? Sure: ZX POS - v2 released
    My site - Pro ZC Help | My portfolio | My plugins

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Adelaide, Australia
    Posts
    1,454
    Plugin Contributions
    1

    Default Re: Why Google SEO is not friendly to zencart

    Quote Originally Posted by dbltoe View Post
    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.

    Many thanks dbltoe for your input. None of the below is aimed personally at you, it is just a continuation of the discussion - please treat it as generic.

    Firstly let me say that I was not looking for advice on how to better rank my sites - all the tips you mentioned, which are much appreciated, are well and truly in place. My problem has been that with those things in place the incorrect operation / integration of particular plugins counteracted my good work - fact, not assumed.

    My reference to a couple of Shopify sites beating my ranking, for reasons I cannot fathom, was in support of the original poster and I did this in the hope that some astute people in the community may take put some credence in the distinct possibility that Shopify is doing something a little extra that appeals to Google - that was the reason. It has long been a subject I wanted to raise but hadn't got around to - primarily to get opinions or insights from those who may know a bit about how Shopify works

    I will engage someone one day soon to do a forensic assessment comparison between my site(s) and the two Shopify sites mentioned to come up with some form of answer(s) - whatever they may be ... if it is simply Mike your SEO is over-cooked or your content is not good or you have too much boilerplate on product pages .... or whatever ... then I will take that on the chin and correct what needs to be corrected - if on the other hand they find something in the Shopify structure that is working better for SEO then I will have an answer (what I will do with that info - who knows, but at least I will know.

    My problem is finding someone with enough understanding of how to go about doing such an assessment rather than offer to do a typical audit with a bunch of stats generated from Moz, Ahrefs or some other automated program. I have been searching (forums, contacting SEO consultants etc .... all too difficult for them). Stats are useful 'indicators' but without insight and a hands on looking at the sites themselves for comparison, somewhat wanting. As I have mentioned previously - if it was stats based thing there is no way these sites should / could rank above mine - so it is down to other factors, about which I am scratching my head. But I digress - one of those other factors 'could' be to do with platform structure.

    The subject of SEO itself is contentious - mainly because it is primarily opinion based with some trial and error experiences - like trying to finish a jigsaw puzzle and not having all the required pieces.

    More to the point, and something that is generally avoided in any forum in ZC is the problems I mentioned regarding the SEO structure in ZC relative to 2020 as against 2003/4 when the platform was developed (released more accurately).

    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.
    Powerful in what way - certainly not SEO structure - more likely that it is a very powerful and very developer friendly platform for web development. Untouched the url generation in the ZC system works as intended, as it was intended back in 2002/3/4 - yes Google can still find any form of url including ZC's dynamic system which was the norm back then .... but that is not really the point is it? Google and indeed the searchers that look for our products or services want something else - they pay our bills.

    I am not having a go at you dbltoe but you would not believe how many times I have heard that statement almost verbatim in discussions about SEO and particularly rewriting url's - RodG, bless his soul, used to go into long dissertations about the folly of rewriting url's and the heartache it can cause with all manner of other code in the core as well as integration issues with other plugins. He was spot on in his assessment but like many others he missed the point.

    The point being in 2020 it is a 'really should have' requirement by Google (John Mueller has covered this many times recently) that user friendly url's be used to fit in with Googles ever developing strategy of offering the best possible customer experience in what they show in search.

    My specific comments are pointed at the way Zen Cart has allowed the rewriting of url's to evolve uncontrolled over the years and how that has caused a lot of significant problems due primarily to the reliance of third party plugins that have not been updated correctly each time ZC versions have been updated and hence integration has failed to produce optimum SEO structure for Google to see that it is optimal. I sited some initially but there are more.

    Something that should be taken as a very important part of this conversation - there are a great many ZC website owners that have absolutely no idea that their websites are not performing optimally because of the integration problems of a number of SEO critical plugins or components therein that they or others have installed.

    I know about the issues because I have an inquiring mind and I try to figure out what 'may' be preventing my sites from getting to #1 position in search - so my inquisitiveness has at times led me to some of the issues previously mentioned with USU, IH, SiteMapXML and now CEON - which then had me posting in the relevant forums looking for resolutions to the problems - of these problems persisted for over 12 months before a good samaritan community member took up the slack of a no longer active (not deceased, just no longer active - it was USU, Larry) plugin author - for over 10 months the url rewrite program was not working correctly with what was then the latest version of ZC, 1.5.5f

    I could write a book but I think you get the picture --- the above para in itself should be looked at in the context of 'what is Zen Cart's attitude or approach to SEO' ... unfortunately the score would be a fail. Regardless of any other terrific power that ZC has if that power is not optimized for the search engines then it is wasted power.

    I really find it somewhat incredible that in 2020 a website platform is still relying on hit and miss sometimes optimally integrated plugins that determine how the SEO structure is presented to the search engines - somewhat unnerving.

    Given that the structure for presenting url's, images url's, sitemap url's etc is optimal then ranking a website rests pretty much with the owner as you alluded to - and dbltoe you are no doubt one of those web developers that do care about your clients site performance and act proactively to that end - (unfortunately there are many that don't) - albeit even your diligent efforts could be in vain dependent on what zc version and versions of the plugins mentioned above and in the previous post are installed and how they are integrating. If you have checked then great - it was only by checking and re-checking that I found the issues, most of which I believe have been fixed and some new versions of plugins released - but if someone misses the updates?

    Don't get me wrong, I like Zen Cart, have been using it for 10 years and have 6 sites (my own) built with it - I have learned how to get by by asking a whole bunch of questions and occasionally posing some opinions, primarily because I would like to share thoughts and hope that they lead to constructive discussion and who knows, even improvements over time.

    I think the Zen Cart developers should embrace taking ownership of the plugins that have a significant influence in how ZC sites present in search - incorporate them into core (and then continually develop with the assistance of the plugin authors or custodians).

    Again many thanks for your contribution(s).

    cheers, Mike

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    N of San Antonio TX
    Posts
    7,501
    Plugin Contributions
    8

    Default Re: Why Google SEO is not friendly to zencart

    I sometimes wonder if I have not channeled RodG in my thoughts and comments on the forum. Maybe it's just the age. Maybe it's the frustration of dealing with customers that are never happy for more than five minutes.

    Had a recent client who decided to contact an SEO expert. They abandoned Zen Cart, completely changed the domain name, went with Shopify plan ($80 per month) because "They have unlimited POS PINS (And they use Square instead), and really are still having to pay more each day to add on features that were part of Zen Cart.

    When I finally got the client to talk, the REAL reason they left it all behind was because some of their items could only be shipped UPS and others only USPS. Advanced shipper could have saved them a lot of headache as the Shopify mod for that is an extra monthly fee. Of course 28 css errors and 437 warnings will make Google like Shopify better.

    RodG was correct and often showed evidence that it was more luck of the draw than the URL. IMHO, IF Google is pushing this it's only because the SEO lobby is ransoming advertising unless Google plays along.

    Here's the thing. If you properly set up a site and a test site, one of them cannot be seen by the SEs or your rank will suffer (Duplication is a big no-no). Therefore, you should not load/test a mod on an active site unless you have no concerns about doing something to your rank. After all, it's the one site the SEs ARE tracking.

    Even if it is just makes Google stop ranking and take another look, you're affecting your standing. Unfortunately, it often sends your site to arbitration. Still not as bad as if they think you are trying to con them. Then, it's the "Supplemental Index." So mod testing needs to be done on the test site away from the prying eyes of Google et al.

    Here's where the the hitch comes to the get along. If the main site installs URL rewriting at the start, everything verified and moved from the test site to the main is going to affect your rank.

    So, since no one has been able to prove RodG or myself wrong, my advice is to think about installing a URL rewriter 6 months after your last mod, css, or product data change.

    If the owner/developer/maintainer keeps wanting to make changes to the site, the SEs will quickly fall in line with what you've done. Of course a complete change in line of product might make them blink a little.

    Once the dust settles, run without the URL for a while (you can test operational ability on the test site). Wait for a complete Google report with no problem areas. Then, go with the URL if you feel the need. BTW, https://support.google.com/webmaster...er/76329?hl=en does not say to change the URL to "friendly". It says to make the URL more simple. Zen Cart does that.

    You won't find the term friendly on that site except when addressing a site's mobile compatibility. And, (not pointing fingers just using an example) https://www.dazzlersharmonynecklace....hime?cPath=70& doesn't strike me as simple. And, were I Google, I might think you were trying the old "This necklace is the best necklace for this type of necklace-wearing individual and any other necklace-wearing/necklace-loving person out there." Seems like one might have already guessed that the site sells a necklace or two. I must point out that none of the more than 10 pages of site links for your site are listed as "Supplemental Result."

    Again, not busting chops. Just happens you have an example of what I so often have to fight to keep shop owners from doing. If it's auto parts, we might have to keep Dodge or Mitsubishi going down a few layers. Don't think that's the case when selling just pecans, vinegar, Labrador Retrievers, or necklaces. I would go so far as to advise a client to change a category to avoid repetitiveness. Just Chains would be my choice over Necklaces without Pendants any day. But that's just me wanting to make it simpler for the customer to see and find where they want to go on a site.

    Is it really worth all the heartache to have spent many months "massaging" an older version of Zen Cart and not given Google a sporting chance to settle in to its opinion of your product. Notice I said product -- not site.
    You should build a website to benefit your users, and any optimization should be geared toward making the user experience better.
    This fix, find new mod, change, cuss, fix SEO, cuss, update mod PHP, cuss, fix SEO cycle is just not my cup of tea and you'll never convince me that a "pretty" pig will be anything but a pig.

    "Friendly" URLs will always be number 16 on my top ten list of things to do to a site.

    Of course, myself and nearly 7 million Methodists here in the US think it's okay to have a beer or a little wine after work. 50 million Baptists preach that I and the 7 million are wrong. Maybe I'll ask RodG when we meet again. Oops, sorry. A lot of you may not believe in that.

    Maybe these folks have the answer.
    Did you read the posting tips?!?
    Responsive Color Changes for 155-156c demo here.
    Zen Cart PCI Compatible Hosting

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Croatia
    Posts
    1,204
    Plugin Contributions
    12

    Default Re: Why Google SEO is not friendly to zencart

    I'd agree with dbltoe on most, if not all. Zen Cart's out-of-the-box SEO is pretty good and problems usually start when people start messing with it. Everyone wants either 1st or 2nd position on SERPs and they want it yesterday, so they start trying any and all tricks they can think of or find after some quick "googling". All these attempts just tend to f*** everything up.
    And let's not forget the SEO agencies where there's no way any will say "you're doing a good job, let's continue and just perfect it." - instead they all come up with a list of things you MUST change.

    I woukd, however, agree with Mike on SEO URLs - that should be part of core code. I don't want to discuss the neverending dynamic vs static urls topic - fact is static urls are common practice nowadays, are *human* friendly and as such shouldn't even be discussed as it should be part of core code. Same goes for Sitemap - this really shouldn't be an addon, just like Meta Tags are not an addon.

    Quote Originally Posted by dbltoe View Post
    Maybe I'll ask RodG when we meet again. Oops, sorry. A lot of you may not believe in that.
    Oh, I believe you will. And I'm absolutely sure you two will meet in heaven. Not because you're saints, but because Luci has seen both of you in action and has said "oh hell nah, I'm not letting those two in, no way!".
    Zen Cart Point of Sale? Sure: ZX POS - v2 released
    My site - Pro ZC Help | My portfolio | My plugins

 

 
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Similar Threads

  1. v156 Categories does not use SEO friendly URL's
    By sports guy in forum Templates, Stylesheets, Page Layout
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 5 Oct 2019, 06:02 PM
  2. Is the ajax image swapper Not SEO friendly?
    By mybiz9999 in forum All Other Contributions/Addons
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 23 Jul 2010, 07:58 AM
  3. Google base feeder - which one is Ultimate SEO friendly?
    By kelvyn in forum General Questions
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 21 Jun 2006, 08:10 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
disjunctive-egg
Zen-Cart, Internet Selling Services, Klamath Falls, OR