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Search engine - Plan of attack


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Well I have spent a ton of time reading all the posts about search engines, metas, bots, sid's and many other things associated with my site. I don't claim to know a whole lot about PHP but I have done quite a few contributions and know just enough to screw things up pretty good.

 

All I am trying to do is optimize my site so that it can be picked up by the major search engines. From what I have read, this is where I should start.

 

*Do extensive research to find good quality Keywords and Key Phrases for my site (ex. Wordtracker)

 

*Install a Meta Tag Controller Contribution (ex. Dynamic Meta Tags) - This will allow me to place a Title tag on each product page. As for the Meta Desc and Keyword section, it is not all that important these days, but worth placing a few terms in them.

 

*Install SID Killer Contribution (ex. SID Killer) - This is where I am a little confused. From what I gathered, this is used to eliminate the spiders/bots from getting trapped in my site and/or documenting conflicting info which can cause the SE's to not index my site. I would really like an explanation in lamens terms what this is used for and/or what the pros & cons are. Oh yeah, cookies on or off?

 

*Use Robot.txt file - This file is used to tell the spiders what to do (ex. enter/don't enter certain pages or follow/don't follow certain links). Should I use this file to stop spiders/bots from entering my site? Don't I want to be spidered? Can someone explain the pros & cons of this file and why I would use it.

 

*Install All Products Contrigution - From what I understand, this contribution is not always a good thing because the major SE's don't really care for pages full of tons of links. Can someone also explain the pros & cons here?

 

I know that these topics have been beat to death, but for people like me who are still trying to learn can easily get lost/confused. As mentioned earlier, I have read so much info on these topics, I am now so confused as to what is what, I just need someone to give to me in newbie terms.

 

Thanks all who helps,

Shawn

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*Install a Meta Tag Controller Contribution (ex. Dynamic Meta Tags) - This will allow me to place a Title tag on each product page. As for the Meta Desc and Keyword section, it is not all that important these days, but worth placing a few terms in them.

 

*Install SID Killer Contribution (ex. SID Killer) - This is where I am a little confused. From what I gathered, this is used to eliminate the spiders/bots from getting trapped in my site and/or documenting conflicting info which can cause the SE's to not index my site. I would really like an explanation in lamens terms what this is used for and/or what the pros & cons are. Oh yeah, cookies on or off?

 

*Use Robot.txt file - This file is used to tell the spiders what to do (ex. enter/don't enter certain pages or follow/don't follow certain links). Should I use this file to stop spiders/bots from entering my site? Don't I want to be spidered? Can someone explain the pros & cons of this file and why I would use it.

* Dynamic Meta Tags is a good start.

 

* MS2 has a SID killer in it allready - no need to ADD it.

 

* ROBOT.TXT -can be expalined better off site. Short version is that "good" SE spiders look for this file before it spiders your site (as appos to a bad one that don't care). This file SHOULD be in the WEBSITE's ROOT directory - it does not look anywhere else for this file.

 

Now what ROBOT.TXT tells what that robot/spider can and can not index. It can tell weather it can NOT cache your site, not to index IMAGES, which files and directories it is not allowed to index on. Long form - goto http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/robots.html to learn about robot.txt

 

Good Luck

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Thanks Jason for helping,

 

* MS2 has a SID killer in it allready - no need to ADD it.

I am running 2.2CVS.

 

I have spent all morning continuing to understand how the SID really works. Correct me if I am wrong here.

* SID's are used for visitors who enter your site with cookies turned OFF. This allows the store to track the visitors actions.

 

*Now if a spider enters your site and is given an SID, there are a couple things that happen:

  • The spider will index the page with the SID in the URL. This is bad because the link will not work correctly if someone clicks on it. Is this because the SID would not be valid?
  • The spider/bot is assigned a new SID for every page that it enters, causing possible carts to be added & bandwidth to be used? What I don't understand is how the spider/bot gets stuck. Can you elaborate a little on this?

What SID Killer should I use? Isn't there one that checks to see if the visitor is a spider/bot (based on a list in the contribution) and only assigns an SID to those visitors not on the list?

 

As for the Robot.txt file, is this really necessary? If I use the SID Killer, what would I use the Robot.txt for?

 

Oh by the way, which Header Meta contribution would you recommend for 2.2CVS?

 

Thanks again,

Shawn

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Shawn, to understand how the bot gets trapped with SID, you haveto understand how bots work a little bit. They work in 2 phases.

 

First Phase - Gather URLs from the website, and store the unique URLs in a 'list'.

Second Phase - Parse each URL in the 'list'. Then repeate Phase one looking for *new* unique URLs.

 

The problem is, with a new SID attached each time the bot visits, the bot keeps thinking that it's found more unique URLs, and the list of urls to parse grows longer and longer.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOTE: As of Oct 2006, I'm not as active in this forum as I used to be, but I still work with osC quite a bit.

If you have a question about any of my posts here, your best bet is to contact me though either Email or PM in my profile, and I'll be happy to help.

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I don't think that you *have* ot have a robots.txt

 

Mainly, this file is just used to keep bots out of directories you don't want them in. Like the Admin directory.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOTE: As of Oct 2006, I'm not as active in this forum as I used to be, but I still work with osC quite a bit.

If you have a question about any of my posts here, your best bet is to contact me though either Email or PM in my profile, and I'll be happy to help.

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Thanks, guys for helping.

 

I spent the whole weekend (literally) figuring all this out. Here is what I did.

  • Installed "Header Tags Controller"
  • Installed the Admin to go with the Controller.
  • Installed Burt's SID Killer.
  • Tested the SID Killer.

I am now trying to come up with my keywords/keyphrases for each of my pages to insert in the title tags. I am also going to build a gateway page for all my products, since my index page for my site is in HTML.

 

Am I missing anything? I would welcome any input or criticism you may have.

 

There is so much to try and understand. I hope I am on the right track.

 

Thanks again,

Shawn

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Yup, you're on the right track all right.

 

Next Steps,

 

- run your site through a WC3 validator, and correct any errors

- optimize your alt tags, keyword content, and keyword prominence

- submit to dmoz (only once, it'll take several months)

- find a few releated websites with a Goolge PR of > 3, that are willing to link to you (link exchanges or advertising or something)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOTE: As of Oct 2006, I'm not as active in this forum as I used to be, but I still work with osC quite a bit.

If you have a question about any of my posts here, your best bet is to contact me though either Email or PM in my profile, and I'll be happy to help.

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Thanks Chris,

 

I ran my site through the A3C validater, and it came up with a ton of problems just on the index page alone. It appears that the javascript I used in fireworks to build my title/menu bar at the top of my page is not valid. I am no expert at html/xhtml so I am having a hard time fixing these errors and not screwing up the slices and hotspots.

 

I was wondering if there is a program or service that you would recommend that could help optimize my site? I have looked at Web Position and IBP, but I do know if it will fix the problems I am having. Any ideas.

 

Thanks,

Shawn

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Well, the problems that you are having with the W3c validator won't be fixed by any program. You just have to go through them one at a time to determine how to make it compliant. This step isn't really going ot be the most benificial, as far as SEO goes, anyway, though, as as long as you're happy that your site works on all browsers, you might want to skip this step for now.

 

As far as optimizing, I always use the free demo for WebPositionGold, set to the 'AltaVista' engine. Altavista is one of the more particular SEs when it comes to how it wants to see things. Seeiing up your site to be optimized for AltaVista will also optimizeyou for just about everyone else as well.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOTE: As of Oct 2006, I'm not as active in this forum as I used to be, but I still work with osC quite a bit.

If you have a question about any of my posts here, your best bet is to contact me though either Email or PM in my profile, and I'll be happy to help.

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I will take your advice for now and skip over this step. I will come back to it after I get more important things done. My main problem is the javascript form fireworks 4. for some reason it does not recognize it.

 

I think the problem may be that dreamweaver 4 uses -//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN as its doctype, and the javascript that fireworks 4 creates is not recognized. I don't know where to go from here. Here are a few of the main errors that come up over and over:

 

Line 20, column 56: character "&" is the first character of a delimiter but occurred as data 
   var p,i,x;  if(!d) d=document; if((p=n.indexOf("?"))>0&&parent.frames.length) {
                                                         ^
Line 20, column 58: cannot generate system identifier for general entity "parent.frames.length" 
   var p,i,x;  if(!d) d=document; if((p=n.indexOf("?"))>0&&parent.frames.length) {
                                                           ^
Line 20, column 58: general entity "parent.frames.length" not defined and no default entity (explain...). 
   var p,i,x;  if(!d) d=document; if((p=n.indexOf("?"))>0&&parent.frames.length) {
                                                           ^
Line 20, column 78: reference not terminated by REFC delimiter 
 ...n.indexOf("?"))>0&&parent.frames.length) {
                                           ^
Line 20, column 78: reference to entity "parent.frames.length" for which no system identifier could be generated 
 ...n.indexOf("?"))>0&&parent.frames.length) {
                                           ^
Line 20, column 57: entity was defined here 
   var p,i,x;  if(!d) d=document; if((p=n.indexOf("?"))>0&&parent.frames.length) {
                                                          ^

Now these same errors occur on many of the other lines that use the same format.

 

I was able to eliminate all of these errors on this line (20) but it caused other errors to arise. I added a ; where it says "reference not terminated by REFC delimiter". I also tried to add && in place of the &&. These did work but other things came up and the slices on that page would not work anymore.

 

If you or anyone else can shed a little light on this I would be grateful. I am going to move on to a couple of the other tasks for now.

 

Thanks,

Shawn

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Just my contribution:

 

Everything that Chris Bradley has said is correct and relevant, btw Chris - how come you never bore of offering words of Wizardness ? ...

 

Shawn, you may be going a bit too far with all of this - while it is often better to create individual metatags for all your product pages, it may be prudent to start with something simpler...

 

Basically, search engines points for simplicity here - have the keywords / phrase in the title of the product ; for instance, if you sell Chocolate ;

 

Chocolate - White - 100gsm Bar

 

Whatever, the search engines will index your page, from osC out of the box, with no modifications at all.

 

For instance, a search on 'ducati fila decal' in Google, brings relevant listings from my osC shopping cart.

 

Also - if you go the metatags option, then be aware that using keywords that are not found within that product page may not yeild high s/e results.

 

Generally though, if you link up your current site with your cart, as much as possible, and use informative and accurate keywords in the Product Title, you will be ranked pretty high anyway.

 

 

Regards,

 

 

Steve

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Thanks Steve for your response.

 

I agree with you about simplicity. The problem is, the more I read into the SE rankings and optimizations I am finding my to do list getting larger and larger. And most of the list is stuff that I am not familiar with. I am trying to wade through the list and all the posts to come up with a basic list that will provide me with good placement and rankings.

 

Also - if you go the metatags option, then be aware that using keywords that are not found within that product page may not yeild high s/e results.

 

I installed the Header Tags Contoller mainly to use the title tag feature over the other tags. I currently have made list of all my product pages and I am coming up with a few keywords/keyphrases for each page (the keywords/keyphrases will be in both the body and the header). I am then going to take the keywords/keyphrases and plug them into wordtracker to get the best keywords.

 

Does this approach sound OK?

 

Thanks,

Shawn

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Hi Shawn,

 

That sounds perfect, the more you do, the higher you go :) As long as you do it right - not all its cracked up to be sometimes, we are snowballed with enquiries, and 50% of them are useless.

 

50% of them are good though.....

 

 

By the way, it will take 3 months to get listed in Google, but if you add your links to a page that already exists within Google, then you will be indexed within 14 days or so.

 

 

Steve

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