怎样使用nofollow标签

因为太多的垃圾链接会影响搜索引擎的判断,所以现在nofollow是一个非常好的“垃圾链接防火墙”。正是百度、谷歌、Yahoo、MSN 为了应对垃圾链接(Spam)引入的一个属性,此属性目前应该被广泛采用。因此很多主流博客、论坛等都在使用这个标签,来减少那些垃圾帖子,使搜索引擎不 被这些链接所影响。

 

步骤/方法

  1. 1

    1、站内的一些没有必要传递权重的链接

    譬如网页上“关于我们”、“联系我们”、“隐私权政策”等无排名价值的链接,加这些链接为了提高用户体验但这些关键字对排名又毫无意义,为了避免权重的分散和稀释,搜索引擎优化人员可以在这些链接上加上nofollow标签。

  2. 2

    2、可以在网站交互功能时候的在所有链接都标记上都加上nofollow标签。
    为了避免用户在论坛,博客留言等地恶意发外链,分散网站权重。根据pr理论,我们假设每个页面的pr是一定的,当你的导出链接越多,你本页的pr等级被稀释的也就多。但加上nofollow标签后,百度,Google会忽略掉这个链接的影响。

  3. 3

    3、在广告链接上加nofollow。

    网站上的广告,是因为对方给了我们钱,我们才加上的,目的也只是让我们网站的浏览人群能看到广 告,进去对方网站,但链接的pr传递并不是管理员的我们愿意看到的。在没有理解nofollow标签之前,开始的做法是把广告链接写在js里,或者 iframe处理,现在看来挺傻,使网站复杂,代码复杂,完全背离seo的原理,最简单的做法就是在链接上加上nofollow标签。

     

Google 算法公式 2011

2011最新google排名算法公式
Google排名算法公式(原文):
GoogleScore = (KW Usage Score * 0.3) + (Domain Strength * 0.25) +(Inbound Link Score * 0.25) + (User Data * 0.1) + (Content QualityScore * 0.1) + (Manual Boosts) – (Automated & Manual Penalties)

google排名算法公式(中文):
Google得分=(关键词得分X0.3)+(域名权重X0.25)+(外链得分X0.25)+(用户数据X0.1)+(内容质量得分X0.1)+(人工提分)-(人工/自动降分)
得分影响因子分析
—–关键词—–
网页title
Hx(h1-h6)
文本内容
外链中
域名/网址
—–域名权重—–
注册历史
域名年龄
外链权重
外链、给出链接相关度
使用历史、链接形式
—–外链得分—–
链接时间
链接域名权重
锚文本
链接数量/链接权重(PR或其他参数)
外链网页的主题
—–用户数据—–
搜索引擎结果页面(SERPs)的点击率
用户在网页上呆的时间
域名或URL搜索量
访问量及其他Google可以监测到的数据(工具条、GA等)
—–内容质量得分—–
流行的内容/关键词人工加分
Google投票人员
机器算法
这个公式挺合理的,也大致符合google排名方针,内容 > 域名权重 | 外链,虽然这些参数都是很基本、众所周知的,还是值得去验证一下。
新的PR算法中,nofollow也将被计入链接得分。

12 Tips for Optimizing SEO on Your Magento E-Commerce Site

12 Tips for Optimizing SEO on Your Magento E-Commerce Site

by Mohanad Ghashim, October 3, 2012

This series by Mohannad Ghashim of ShopGo.me is part of our Demystifying E-Commerce series. It will explore various technical issues involved in starting up and running an e-commerce site.

It’s well known that, as far as e-commerce platforms go, Magento is one of the most search-engine friendly systems. To make an e-store more visible to potential buyers, there are many techniques within Magento that a website admin can implement to enhance his or her e-store ranking in search engine results. These techniques are usually referred to as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. Here is a set of tips for optimizing SEO in Magento, to make sure customers find your store and find the right pages in your store when they are searching for items.

SEO Techniques in Magento

1. First, make sure you have installed the latest version of Magento.

2. Then, go to this path: System => Configuration => Web => Search Engines Optimization

  • In the “URL Options” menu, set the “Add Store Code to URLS” option to “No” so that store codes are not added to URLs.

  • In the “Search Engine Optimization” menu, set the “Server URL Rewrites” option to “Yes” to remove “index.php” from your URLs and generate more search engine friendly and readable URLs.

3. Go to this path:

System => Configuration => Design => HTML Heads

  • Change the “Default Robots” setting to “INDEX, FOLLOW” so that search engines can index your website and show it in search results.

  • In the “Default Title” and “Default Description” boxes, write the default title and description that you want your pages to have just in case you forget to write a title and description when creating a page. This will ensure that no page has blank information, which would make it more difficult to index.

4. Make sure your e-store is directly available to search engines by creating a “robots.txt” file containing commands that direct search engines to the URLs you want to appear in search engine results and also indicates which you don’t want to appear. Here’s a link to a good article that explains how to create this file and how to write commands in it.

5. Make sure you write good descriptions for your new categories, products, and pages that include several words, so that search engines can accurately reveal those pages when potential customers shop for related ideas or items.

6. To avoid duplications in URLs, go to this path:

System => Configuration => Catalog => Search Engine Optimization

and set “Use Categories Path for Product URLs” to “No”, as shown below:

7. To prevent Magento from generating duplicate content when you want to show the same product in multiple categories, set both “Canonical Link Meta Tag” fields to “Yes” on that same page, as shown below:

8. You can also use category and product images to attract visits from search engines to your e-store by doing the following:

  • Use meaningful names for your images, i.e. “sony-lcd-television-42inch-black.jpg” instead of “photo234.jpg”.
  • When adding an image of a product, write a meaningful description to be used as the “title” and “alt tag” for the given image, i.e. “Sony Vaio Laptop,” as shown below:

9. When adding a category, a product, or page, create a “URL Key” so that your e-store URLs become more search engine friendly, as shown below:

10. To help Google index your site, generate a Google Sitemap automatically by going to this path:

System => Configuration => Google Sitemap

  • In the “Generation Settings” box, enable sitemap generation and change its frequency according to your e-store update frequency. This will allow Google to get your site’s most up-to-date sitemap that includes all new items.
  • You can also modify sitemap settings upon adding a new category, product, or page, so that your sitemap includes all of your new items, as shown below:

11. You can also easily add a “Google Webmaster Tools verification tag” in Magento by going to this path:

System => Configuration => Design => HTML Heads

Put your “Google Webmaster Tools verification tag” in the “Miscellaneous Scripts” box as shown below:

12. Enable “Google Analytics” by going to this path: System => Configuration => Google API

Set “Enable option” to “Yes” and type your Account Number in the box as shown below:

By following these 12 tips, you are sure to optimize your site for maximum visibility to customers, getting them directly to the products they’re looking for more quickly. Ultimately, better SEO should mean more customers and more conversions, so it’s likely worth just changing these few elements to boost your e-commerce business.

SEO in Magento: optimising Magento e-commerce websites for search engines

SEO in Magento: optimising Magento e-commerce websites for search engines

What’s the most popular application on the Web? Search engines. What’s the most popular search engine? Google, by a country mile at over two thirds Plus, Google’s database is currently used by lost of other search engines, Applying an 80:20 rule, doing well in Google is a basic minimum requirement for getting new customers online.

To do well in Google, you simply follow three mantras: visibility, relevance and popularity.

1. Visibility: make sure your site is readable

Visibility is about basic mechanics. Getting your site seen and indexed. Google works by sending out little “robots” that spider around the Internet, examining pages, titles, headers, links, file names, content and the HTML underneath it. What robots can read gets indexed. Many e-commerce websites cannot be read at all, because products and their descriptions are hidden deep inside databases. Stuff in images, Flash and frames is also almost always invisible to search engines. Magento websites are particularly well built for being read:

– the URLS are flat (i.e. don’t have odd characters and are succinct)
– the pages are made of well structured HTML
– clients have detailed control over SEO assets such as Page Titles are meta data
– Google sitemaps are automatically generated

The most important asset is the Page Title (the TITLE tag and the name of the page in your browser window). The page title is the first line of Google’s listing on its search results page. These are also special HTML tags containing instructions about what Google should look out for: your site’s description (META DESCRIPTION – which it adds to the database and makes up the next few lines on the results listing. Of less importance nowadays are the key words (META KEYWORDS). Basic textual content is also scanned, such as headers and body copy.

 

How to edit Product Page Meta Data in Magento

In Magento you can set generic rules for the page title and meta data, such as a site wide prefix and suffix (eg (“Organic meat”) or (“for sale online”). This is done via the Admin Panel (System/Configuration/Design/HTML heads).

In addition, you can set the page title and meta data (and URL) on a page-by-page basis, again via the Admin Panel on the individual category and product pages in the catalog.

Configuring meta data site wide in Magento

Configuring meta data site wide in Magento


2. Relevance: make sure the words you use match what people search for

Next, all this must be relevant. Relevance is about all the elements of your site pointing in the same direction, with the same context and keywords. Simply put, if all your pages talk about “power tools” all over the place, then Google will regard your site as relevant to power tools. The relevance check is designed to weed out cynical and cheap masquerading.

The thorniest aspect to relevance is getting those all important generic propositions (keywords) right. Keywords should be used to identify your generic proposition. For example, “tesco” would be specific, and “supermarket” would be generic. Doing well in generic searches is obviously harder and you could be up against some tough competition in a saturated market: especially for popular search terms, such as “computer”, “clothes”, “jewellery” etc.

Your products and page-by-page content is compared – almost mechanically – to those keywords. The more relevant it is, the higher you come in Google when those keywords are entered.

Choosing the right keywords is, of course, an entirely different matter. Inputs to this include your overall brand strategy and values, what customers are likely to enter in searches, what space your competition is after, what is achievable. Keyword strategy is quantitative and qualitative, creative and analytical. Ultimately, however, this is the virtual market sector you will occupy. We suggest the use of the Google Adwords estimation tool to quantify demand and saturation (https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal).

Final tweaks can be made to your pages by customising the URLs to make them short and to the point, as well as relative to the content that they hold. By default, Magento uses product and category names to make these, but you should override those that are too long or contain redundant and irrelevant words. You can do this in the Admin Panel for each product and category.

 

Customising URLs in Magento

Customising URLs in Magento

A further suggestion to increase the number of relevant pages is to create additional pages containing relevant content: articles, lifestyle content, “how to” material, guides etc. Google will read and store these. These (and other content areas on your site – called “content blocks” in Magento are under your control through the Admin Panel.)

Google can be assisted by the provision of signposts, in the form of a “sitemap”. This is a data listing of all your pages and their links which the Google robot will read with gusto. This can be set up in the Admin Panel (System/Configuration/Google Sitemap) and enabled in (Catalog/Sitemap). You will need to upload this to Google Webmaster Tools once you have “verified” your website – this is straightforward using the verification tag that Webmaster Tools issues and copying it into the same HTML Heads section.

Generating a sitemap in Magento

Generating a sitemap in Magento

When you have got this mixture of visibility and relevance right, your site will be well-armed for those Google robots. All the above points are under your control on your website, through the Magento Admin Panel.

3. Popularity: ultimately, it’s about the number of sites that link to you

Next, you need to become popular – one expert says it’s up to 80% of the battle. As a starting point, you can see how popular you are on the Internet by looking at your (or anybody else’s) “page rank”: (download the Google toolbar if you can’t see it). This a rough and ready measure of popularity, calculated largely on the number of people who link to your site. This page rank will effect how often Google visits you. For a mail order company, anything north of 6/10 will you give real competitive advantage in securing good rankings for your keywords and products. A more precise measure, together with a list of these links, can be obtained from Google Webmaster Tools.

Webmaster tools: checking number of links

Webmaster tools: checking number of inbound links

The challenge is get people to link to you. Webmasters do not exactly volunteer to give free links: especially to commercial organisations. There has to be a “what’s in it for me.” Bona fide affiliates are a great way of doing this: they provide a link, generating traffic and you offer them a modest commission. I don’t mean the type brought by affiliate marketing organisations: this brings traffic, but does not enhance your link popularity as Google ignores such links. People will link to your site voluntarily if it has meaningful, beneficial, informative content – especially where it is valued by a specific community of interest. Alternatively, get people to want to link to you for other reasons: you’ve got a good game, a survey or a vote, or perhaps even a weblog of personal or customer experiences. Send out press releases online with explicit links to your site. Or simply go round adding your site to directories (such as Yahoo! or DMOZ) and paying for the more respectable sources.

Nowadays the link-building landscape is crowded with the advent of social media and it becomes about quality, not quantity. Great content is king here and will generate the best links from other sites, personal or commercial. Like anything else, you simply need a plan and you must track performance.

All these “link building” devices, if well designed, will encourage web users to link to your site, which will boost your popularity and, in turn, get your site better and more frequently indexed. There’s a big caveat here: the content must, of course, be relevant in Google’s eyes.

4. Measurement

My final point is about measurability. The web has unprecedented levels of accountability, making it easy for marketers to analyse and track, monitor the return on investment. You can see how you’re doing: just type in your products and keywords and see where you are. Looking at your website data (visible in packages like Google Analytics), you can track the number of visitors, where the referrals come from, and which search terms are bringing in those valuable customers.

Google Webmaster Tools can show the number of websites linking to you, as well as the search terms that work. In Google Analytics, you can view which generic search terms bring you traffic, by excluding all the brand-related searches (you should be top for that in any event) – this is the ultimate measure of success. Drilling down into the sales conversions of this traffic, you can assess the profitability of your SEO activity.

Traffic from SEO

Filter out brand traffic from organic search & look at e-commerce revenues to see the true ROI from your SEO

Technical recommendations

Page Titles (Title tags)
Title tags are the most important of the head elements for optimisation purposes (you can tell this as they form the first line of Google’s listing). There are a few basic rules that need to be followed when writing them:

• They should not have more than 70 characters as search engines do not give weight past this number & they don’t display beyond this in many browsers
• All pages should have unique titles that are relevant to the topic of the content.
• The title should open with the most important phrase for that individual page. The sentence is unique and also contains the important phrases for this page.

Meta Description tags
The Meta description tag is important as all major search engines read and give weight to it. Google pays particular attention to what is said in this tag: again, Google displays this material in its search results. The rules are:
• The tag should ideally have 160 characters or less.
• It is important to include 3 or 4 of the pages top keywords; to use phrases that appear in the title tag is also thought to give more weight to this tag.
• Any keywords that are deemed to be core to this page should appear close to the start of the tag; this should give them more weight in ranking of the page.

Meta Keyword tags
The Meta keyword tag was once thought to the holy grail of optimisation, until spammers abused it. Now Google pays no attention to the tag at all, Yahoo and MSN both do but it is thought to be minimal in its effectiveness for ranking. The rules for this tag are as follows:
• You should only use phrases that appear in the actual copy of the page; you would not be able to rank for a phrase in the Meta keyword tag if it is not mentioned anywhere on the page or has a links pointing to it with similar anchor text.
• Think key phrases not keywords!
• No more than 500 characters for this tag, but it is better not to use more than 200 because it may dilute the effectiveness of the tag.
• This is a safe place to put misspelling as only the search engines look at it and the many people who have spelling difficulties can be targeted.

URLs
Magento has a habit of spawning multiple URLs for product pages and categories, especially via onsite search and filters. Remember to enable Canonical Tags for products and categories, in System/Configuration/Catalog/Search Engine Optimisations.

Image alt-tags (image labels)
Images with descriptive alt text are very important for ranking. Search engines cannot read images but do read and give weight to alt tags associated with images. The alt tags may contain targeted keywords in relevant cases. Screen Pages’ Magento implementations use product names as default Alt Tags for product images; content block images are under your control, so can be tagged appropriately.

Heading tags
Search engines place weight on any text that stands out on the page and because of this it is a good idea to put important phrases in
h1 and h2… tags, and bold or italic text – typically product or category names. Screen Pages’ Magento implementations follow “best practice” by default, by custom header tag regimes can be specified.

Body copy
In general, all copy is under your control through the Magento Admin Panel.

For best results we recommend that each page has at least 300 words of copy on it. There are some cases where this much text can be difficult to place on a page but as the search engines really love relevant copy you should do your best to increase the amount of words where you can.

• This text should include your most important keyword phrases, but should remain logical & readable.
• Be sure to use those phrases that you have used in your other tags (i.e. Meta tags, title tags etc).
• Add additional copy filled pages to your site. For example, how-to articles, tips or tutorials. These types of content pages not only help you in the search engines, but many other sites will link to them too.
• It is always advisable to use the page’s main target key-phrase within the first paragraph. This typically happens naturally, though it is worth ensuring so. Given that there will be around 300 words per page it would be advisable to have a keyword density around 2 – 5%.
• Whilst it is advisable to include the target key phrase in its exact form, it is also worthwhile using the individual component words separately. It’s also advisable to include keywords relating to the main topic of the page.

Link text (anchor text)
Both internal, as well as inbound links from other sites should contain the main keyword / phrase within the link text. This will inform the search engine what the target page is about, and help the page rank better for the term. Dynamic catalogue-related links are generated automatically. Other internal site links (such as footers or SEO-specific internal site links are under your control.)

Navigation
For a search engine to be able to index all the content, the site must have a good internal link structure. No page should be more than three clicks away. It’s advisable to have a sitemap of the main navigation structure of the website.

Conclusions

If you work on the visibility, relevance and popularity of your website, the number of visitors to your site will increase exponentially. Over time, you will develop a presence for your brand that is unassailable by your competitors and keeps you at the top of the pile and increases sales.

Contact us if you would like to discuss SEO in Magento in more detail or to book a workshop on SEO.

Magento SEO

Magento SEO

By — Last update May 16th, 2013

It’s now almost a year after the world saw the first stable release of Magento, and there was still no “definitive guide” to Magento SEO. A lot has been written on the subject, in the Magento forum and some blog posts, but nothing that gives a complete overview of this subject. It’s time to let all this knowledge and experience fall into one big piece; the definitive guide to Magento SEO.

As search, SEO, and last but not least the Magento platform evolve, we will keep this Magento SEO article up to date with tips, tricks & best practices. Because Magento, though pretty stable, hasn’t matured yet, the best practice is to stay updated with the latest release, at moment of writing 1.4.

Need your website reviewed?

If you need an outside look at your Magento install, you might consider our Website Review. The results of this review contain a full report of improvements for your site, encompassing my findings for improvements in different key areas such as SEO to Usability to Site Speed & more. For the cost of €849 (which is less than $1100), you’ll receive a report that represents a much larger value in turn-over and profit!

Table of contents

  1. 1 Basic technical optimization
    1. 1.1 General Configuration
      1. 1.1.1 WWW vs non-WWW
    2. 1.2 Header Settings
    3. 1.3 CMS Pages
    4. 1.4 Category optimization
    5. 1.5 Products optimization
  2. 2 Magento Template Optimization
    1. 2.1 Optimized Blank Template
    2. 2.2 Headings
    3. 2.3 Clean up your code
    4. 2.4 Aim for speed
  3. 3 Advanced Magento SEO and Duplicate Content
    1. 3.1 Noindex, follow for non-content pages
    2. 3.2 Nofollowing unnecessary links
    3. 3.3 Canonical URLs
    4. 3.4 XML Sitemaps

1 Basic technical optimization

1.1 General Configuration

Magento is one of the most search engine friendly e-commerce platforms straight out of the box, but there are several known issues that can be taken care of to optimize your Magento SEO. The first step is to get the most recent release, 1.2.1 Then, to get started, enable Server URL rewrites. You will find this setting under System => Configuration => Web => Search Engines Optimization. Another good thing to configure now you are on this screen is “Add store Code to Urls” under “Url Options”. In most cases it is better to set this functionality to “No”.

1.1.1 WWW vs non-WWW

Under “Unsecure” and “Secure” you can find the Base URL, where you can set the preferred domain. You can choose between the www and the non-www version of the URL. With changing the setting you don’t create a redirect from www to non-www or non-www to www but set only the preferred one. Therefore it is a good idea to create a 301 redirect through .htaccess with mod_rewrite. Besides solving the WWW vs non-WWW problem this redirect prevents Magento from adding the SID query to your URLs, like ?SID=b9c95150f7f70d6e77ad070259afa15d. Make sure the Base URL is the same as redirect. When editing the .htaccess file you can add the following code to redirect index.php to root.

Around line 119:

1 RewriteBase / RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9} /index.php HTTP/
2 RewriteRule ^index.php$ http://www.mydomain.com/ [R=301,L]

Or, when your Magento install is not in the root but in the sub-directory http://www.mydomain.com/magento/:

1 RewriteBase /magento/ RewriteCond %{THE_REQUEST} ^[A-Z]{3,9} /magento/index.php HTTP/
2 RewriteRule ^index.php$ http://www.mydomain.com/magento/ [R=301,L]

1.2 Header Settings

By default your Magento install has the title “Magento Commerce”. For your Magento shop to get the traffic it deserves you should keep at your mind:

  • Search engines put more weight on the early words, so if your keywords are near the start of the page title you are more likely to rank well.
  • People scanning result pages see the early words first. If your keywords are at the start of your listing your page is more likely to get clicked on.

First of all you should get rid off the default title “Magento Commerce”. Go to Configuration => Design => HTML Head. Choose a good and descriptive title for your website. This title will be used for several non-content pages without custom title, e.g. “Contact Us” and the “Popular Search Terms”.

To add your store name to all page titles, including categories and products, put your store name in “Title Suffix”. It is a better idea to keep the Prefix empty, for the reasons mentioned above. Also keep “Default Description” and “Default Keywords” empty. For a non-production environment, to prevent indexing of the site, it may be useful to set “Default Robots” to “NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW” but for all other applications make sure it is set to “INDEX, FOLLOW”.

Now we are optimizing the <head> of your web-store pages it is a good idea to add the new canonical tag. You can install the Canonical URL’s for Magento Module to add them to your head and improve your Magento SEO.

For some reason Magento turns non-set meta robots into a meta tag in this style:

<meta name="robots" content="*" />

This can result in some very strange behavior in the search engines, so we’ll remove it. To remove this empty metas from your code install the Yoast MetaRobots Module.

1.3 CMS Pages

At first sight Magento may lack some decent CMS functionality, but for most uses it will be flexible and powerful enough. One of the benefits of this simple CMS is that you can control each aspect of the pages. Once you’ve given each CMS page some decent content, pick a SEF URL Identifier and page title, (while keeping in mind the points under 1.2), and go to the Meta Data tab to write a description for each CMS page that you actually want to rank with.

You can keep the “Keywords” empty. The description has one very important function: enticing people to click, so make sure it states what’s in the page they’re clicking towards, and that it gets their attention. Thus, the only well written description is a hand written one, and if you’re thinking of auto generating the meta description, you might as well not do anything and let the search engine control the snippet…

If you don’t use the meta description, the search engine will find the keyword searched for in your document, and automatically pick a string around that, which gives you a bolded word or two in the results page.

1.4 Category optimization

Magento gives you the ability to add the name of categories to path for product URL’s. Because Magento doesn’t support this functionality very well – it creates duplicate content issues – it is a very good idea to disable this. To do this, go to System => Configuration => Catalog => Search Engine Optimization and set “Use categories path for product URL’s to “no”.

Now it’s time to set the details for each category. Go to Catalog => Manage Categories. The most important fields are:

  • Meta Description: put an attractive description here; Keep in mind that people will see the description in the result listings of search engines.
  • Page Title: keep this empty to use the category name including parents categories. When you customize it, the title will be exactly like your input, without the parent category.
  • URL Key: try to keep a short but keyword rich URL. Removing stop words like “the”, “and”, “for” etc. is usually a good idea. Also note that you can set this only for all store views, for a multi-language store you should keep it language independent.

For each store view you can specify the Name, Description, Page Title and Meta data. For multi-language stores this is really a great feature.

1.5 Products optimization

Optimization of the Products pages is similar to Categories. You can set the Meta Information for the “Default Values” and for each “Store View”. Note that for the “Meta Title”, this will overwrite the complete page title, including categories but except title prefix/suffix, and not just the product name.

An often-overlooked aspect of Magento SEO is how you handle your images. By for instance writing good alt tags for images and thinking of how you name the image files, you can get a nice bit of extra traffic from the different image search engines. Next to that, you’re helping out your lesser able readers who check out your site in a screen reader, to make sense of what’s otherwise hidden to them.

By default the images will be renamed to the product title, the same for titles and alt tags. With some extra effort you can set the titles and alt tags for each product image. Under the tab “Images” of the Product Information you can set the label for each product image, this value will be used for the alt and title tag. Of course you can do this for each specified Store View as well.

2 Magento Template Optimization

2.1 Optimized Blank Template

The default Magento skins like “Default Theme”, “Blue Skin” and “Modern Theme” don’t do a very good job in the use of headings, so from an SEO perspective, there is a lot of room for improvement there. To make it easy on you, we have developed a Blank Magento SEO Theme, based on the core Magento Blank Theme, which incorporates all the things we’ve outlined below. You can download and discuss it here.

2.2 Headings

By default the logo is an <h1>, which is should only be on the front page, and on all other pages it should be no more than an <h3>. The most important thing is to get the title of the content in an <h1> tag, e.g. for a category page should it be the category name and for a product the product name.

The next step is to clean up the over usage of headings. It’s a good idea to get rid off the header usage in the side columns, or make the text relevant to the shop (ie. include keywords). There is no reason to add “static” and keyword less titles with an <h4>. It is, for instance, better to change all the <h4> tags in <div> to <strong> tags. Now it is time to optimize your content, at the category pages put the product names in a <h3> and the category name in a <h1>. On product pages, you should put the product name in an <h1>.

To learn more about why proper headings are important read this article on Semantic HTML and SEO.

2.3 Clean up your code

All that javascript and CSS you might have in your template files, move that to external javascripts and css files, and keep your templates clean, as they’re not doing your Magento SEO any good. This makes sure your users can cache those files on first load, and search engines don’t have to download them most of the time.

2.4 Aim for speed

A very important factor in how many pages a search engine will spider on your shop each day, is how speedy your shop loads.

You can do two things to increase the speed of your Magento install:

  1. Enable caching. Go to System => Cache Management and enable all caching features, like this.
  2. The importance of a good host and server config. With MySQL and PHP opcode cache you can improve the speed of Magento dramatically.

NOTE: there is a rumor that with the 1.3 release of Magento new functionality will be added with huge performance improvements.

Another thing to look for is the number of external files. For each file you make people download, their browser has to create another connection to the webserver. So it is a very good idea to reduce the number of external files and combine several external files in to one. By default Magento already combines (almost) all javascript files into one file.

It doesn’t do this for stylesheets though: the default template has 6 different stylesheet files. You can combine the content of these stylesheets into one new one, except for the print.css file, or you can use the Fooman Speedster module. Besides combining files, this module also compresses and caches your javascript and stylesheet files. (Please note the requirements for Speedster: mod_rewrite has to be enabled & and your server needs to have .htaccess support. If you use Canonical URLs for Magento and Fooman Speedster together, you need to overwrite the Canonical module with this download.

3 Advanced Magento SEO and Duplicate Content

Once you have done all the basic stuff you will find the rest of the problems amount to one simple thing: duplicate content. Loads of it in fact. For products you have, at least, the following URLs with exact the same content:

  • domain.com/product.html
  • domain.com/category1/product.html
  • domain.com/catalog/product/view/id/1/
  • domain.com/catalog/product/view/id/1/category/1/

Besides that you have pages like the product review pages with almost the same content. Another problem are categories, you get a load of duplicate content with layered navigation and the sorting options. In essence that means that, worst case scenario, a product is available on 4 pages at least next to the page where it should be available.

We’re going to get rid of all those duplicate content pools, by still allowing them to be spidered but not indexed and fixing the sorting options and layered navigation for categories.

3.1 Noindex, follow for non-content pages

Install the Yoast robots meta module and make sure the settings prevent indexing of all non-content pages, like this:

yoast robots meta: optimizes your Magento SEO

Now the search engine will follow all links on these pages but it won’t show those pages in the index.

Another easy step to increase your Magento SEO is to stop linking to your login, checkout, wishlist, and all other non-content pages. The same goes for your RSS feeds, layered navigation, add to wishlist, add to compare etc. Still there is no plugin for Magento to work this around. You had probably have to go into your template files to add nofollow to those links by hand.

3.3 Canonical URLs

To help search engines to understand the duplicate content of your pages you can suggest the preferred version of the URL for each page, using the new canonical URL tag, so you should install the Canonical URL’s for Magento module.

3.4 XML Sitemaps

XML Sitemaps are an easy way of letting search engines know where your content is, it won’t help you rank, but it might help you get indexed faster. You can create an XML sitemap manually by going to Catalog => Google Sitemap => Add Sitemap, choosing a filename, path and store view, and then pressing “Save & Generate”.

You can then simply put the following code in your robots.txt file to point the search engines to your sitemap.xml file:

Sitemap: http://domain.com/sitemap.xml

As your inventory changes, you’ll have to re-generate XML sitemaps. To make sure they’re up to date, the best way is to set up a cron job, the process of which is extensively describe here.

Managing Duplicate Content Issues on the Magento Platform

Managing Duplicate Content Issues on the Magento Platform

As discussed in our last article on the subject, the Magento platform is a great ecommerce system for new merchants who are looking to get their feet wet with online retailing.  Not only is the platform intuitively easy to use, it also provides a great customer experience right out of the box (and did we mention that it’s free?!).

Of course, with any standardized system, it’s important to make sure any default behaviors don’t prevent your site from being indexed correctly by the search engines.  And while the Magento system out-of-the-box isn’t that bad when it comes to SEO, one particular weakness you’ll want to be aware of is the way the platform creates duplicate content pages through the establishment of multiple URLs for the same pages.

Now, despite popular belief, you aren’t going to be penalized in the search engines for having these instances of duplicate content on your site.  However, since they can screw up the way the search engines crawl and index your site – leading to non-ideal URLs being displayed in the SERPs – it’s important that you take the following steps to minimize these issues:

1 – Control Canonical Tags Effectively

As mentioned previously, one of the biggest weaknesses of the Magento platform – and really, most other CMS providers as well – from an SEO standpoint is the creation of multiple URLs that all point towards a single page.  Essentially, with the way Magento creates and rewrites URLs by default, it’s possible to wind up with all of the following URL variations for a single product:

  • Yoursite.com/product1.html
  • Yoursite.com/category1/product1.html
  • Yoursite.com/catalog/product1/view/id/1/
  • Yoursite.com/catalog/product1/view/id/1/category/1/

But while all of these URLs may serve a valid purpose for your Magento installation, they can be difficult for the search engines to process and index correctly.  If the search engines index all of these different variations, they’ll likely be flagged as duplicate content instances, leading to confusion as to which specific version should be displayed in the search results.

In our first article on SEO for Magento, we covered a few specific URL rewrite steps you’ll want to take to improve your store’s optimization – including setting standard SEF rewrites and specifying the www or non-www base for your URLs.

However, taking these steps alone won’t prevent the creation of these multiple URLs, which is where the canonical tag comes in handy.  This code snippet – which is recognized by Google, Yahoo and Bing – tells the search engines when a different URL should be indexed, instead of the page’s actual address.

As an example of how this technique should be implemented, suppose you’re editing the “Yoursite.com/catalog/product1/view/id/1/category/1/” page from the list above.  Ideally, it’d be best to have the cleaner “Yoursite.com/product1.html” version of this page displayed in the SERPs, as this could potentially increase click through rates to your site.  To let the search engines know how the longer URL should be treated, enter the following code into the <head> section of your longer URL page:

<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.yoursite.com/product1.html”>

Of course, while adding canonical tags to your site is a great way to minimize instances of duplicate content, there’s one pretty obvious weakness.  If your site has a handful of products, adding these code snippets to each page on your site isn’t a big deal, but what if you have hundreds or thousands of different items for sale?  Are you really expected to go through and add canonical tags to each potential instance of duplicate content on your site?

In fact, a much easier way to handle this is with an add-on module like Yoast’s “Canonical URLs” or MageWorx’s “SEO Suite Pro.”  Either one of these options (or any of the other similar extensions available today) will make it easier for you to automatically add the necessary canonical tags to your site to manage page URL versions and potential duplicate content filters.

2 – Prevent Indexing of All Non-Content Pages

Once you’ve got your canonical tags in place, the next step you’ll want to take to improve Magento’s default content handling and prevent further instances of duplicate content is to set up “noindex” tags for all non-content pages.  This includes items like your checkout pages, your customer account pages, and your internal search results pages – basically, anything you wouldn’t want to appear in Google’s natural search results listings.

Traditionally, this is controlled by adding the “noindex” code to your site’s meta robots tags, but the Magento platform can make it difficult to access and correctly configure these sections.  Although Groove Commerce has a good example of how a Magento robots.txt file can be modified to include the appropriate indexing controls, an easier solution is to use Yoast’s Meta Robots module to set “noindex” tags beyond the standard options offered in the “Web” section of the Magento backend.

3 – Add “Nofollow” Tags to Non-Content Page Links

In addition to preventing your Magento site’s non-content pages from being indexed by the search engines, you’ll want to add a “nofollow” tag to any internal links that point to these pages from within your site.

Unfortunately, there aren’t currently any external modules available to add these link tags automatically within Magento itself.  However, you can edit your template files to nofollow your links by hand in order to avoid having the manually edit each individual link every time you add to your website.

4 – Add a Sitemap

Next up, while it’s not a fool-proof solution to preventing instances of duplicate content from being detected on your site, adding a sitemap that informs the search engines’ spider programs on how to index your site can help promote proper crawling and indexation (especially when combined with the techniques described above).

While Magento does offer an XML sitemap building utility within its backend (found by navigating to Catalog -> Google Sitemap -> Add Sitemap), you’ll want to keep an eye on this built-in functionality to ensure that your sitemap is rebuilt whenever you add new products.

5 – Rewrite any stock product descriptions

The final issue that must be mentioned when it comes to managing duplicate content issues on ecommerce sites is the need to rewrite any stock product descriptions used on your site when reselling mass-manufactured items (though really, this is an issue affecting all online retailers – not just those on the Magento platform!).

Basically, if you’re a reseller, drop-shipper or other shop that sells widely-available products, you might find it tempting to simply copy the manufacturer’s stock product descriptions and paste them – word-for-word – onto your own site.  Please, please, please don’t do this!

At best, you won’t receive negative treatments from the search engines for engaging in this essentially-plagiarism practice, though you will lower your odds of providing an enjoyable experience for your store visitors.  At worst, the content from your site (even if it’s marked correctly with canonical tags) won’t be displayed in the SERPs if it’s found to constitute an instance of duplicate content from other already-indexed sites that copied the same descriptions you did.

Because recent Google algorithm updates (including both the Panda and Penguin changes) seem to revolve around providing high value content, take the time to craft your own unique product descriptions.  Make them as engaging and enticing as possible in order to give your site the best advantage from both a search engine and user experience standpoint in the long run!

Magento SEO hint

Magento SEO Advice Featured

Thursday, 16 January 2014 09:44

We’ve been developing Magento websites for the past 4 years, we’ve learnt alot about getting your store to rank well in search engines organically. Out of the box it’s an eCommerce system that is setup for being listed high in SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) which really does make all the difference to the number of visitors finding your site from a search. So what does it do well and how can it be improved?

Here are some of the the things that Magento does well and where it possibly benefits over some other eCommerce systems

  •  Correct use of header tags and page structure (I’m referring to the default themes so be careful as some cheap themes avaialble to purchase might not be!)
  •  Ability to control meta data and page titles
  •  Google sitemap generation ( when turned on! )
  •  Clean SEO urls no strange characters or unnecessary numbers/codes
  •  Use of Image alt tags (When correctly set)
  •  Set canonical urls for products that appear in multiple categories.
  • Plus many more..

But there are some things wrong with the default setup and these can possibly harm your SEO efforts, if you don’t take into account details like the following,

  •  Duplicate content pages due to pagination and attribute filtering
  •  No default robots.txt
  •   Won’t set any NOINDEX or NOFOLLOW to non production sites allowing them to be indexed, you really need to make sure that youR development sites don’t end up being indexed!
  •   “I’ve set a default description so I don’t need to write one for each category/CMS page” Please don’t feel because Magento uses the default description you’ve set in the main config for all pages you’ve not been bothered to fill in is a good thing! Take the time to write a meaningful meta description for all products and categories.
  •  Slow load times! Google and other search engines take page load time into account when generating SERP pages, this isn’t exactly a fault of Magento but there is an assuption that it can’t be made to run quickly wihtout a £500+ a month dedicated server. With the correct use of caching, database optimisation and a half decent server it can load pages as quickly as other eCommerce systems. Don’t underestimate the effect of a slow loading page on your SEO and just as important the user experience of your shoppers!

Ok so there are Pros and Cons around SEO and a lot more then I’ve listed above, so how are you going to ensure your website performs well and you get the most out of the investment in your eCommerce website?

Steps to Improve Magento SEO.

Here are the steps we take to ensure your site is visible and promotes all of the important pages to Google and other search engines. These cover just a few of the on page and system level changes that we feel should be made, please take them as advice in general and they should always be adapted to suit your website and target audience.

System -> Configuration

  1. Ensure you use a .htaccess file and set the “Web -> Search Engines Optimisation” to “On”.
  2. “Add store codes to URLs” set to “No”, *Note that this may be set to Yes for a good reason and I’d recommend checking with your web developer before changing this!
  3. “Redirect Method” set to “301” instead of the default 302. I’m yet to speak to anyone that has given me a good reason to keep this as 302’s, 301 redirects tell search engines that the new URL is the correct one and should be indexed and not the old URL.
  4. Remove .html as Product and Category Url Suffix. There is no SEO benefit to keep the html extension on the URL, this is more of a preference then a requirement but I’ve also read it has a benefit being removed but I’m not sure.
  5. “Use categories path for product URL”, This setting ensures that when linking through to a product in multiple categories you don’t end up with duplicate content under different URLs. So for example your new fancy unisex red socks that are featured and on sales don’t end up being viewable on the following urls
    • http://yourwebsite.com/womens/clothing/redsocks
    • http://yourwebsite.com/mens/clothing/redsocks
    • http://yourwebsite.com/featured/redsocks
    • http://yourwebsite.com/clothing/sale/redsocks
    • http://yourwebsite.com/clothing/new/redsocks

    If all of these pages contain exactly the same content then you have a problem and search engines will not index them individually and if 100’s of products all end up like this your site will start to look very spam content like. Magento goes some way in ensuring this doesn’t’ happen if you turn on Canonical URLs for products and categories, this will place a meta tag in the head of each page like this
    <link rel=”canonical” href=”http://www.yourwebsite.com/redsocks”/> This tells search engines that the page returned should be considered the following url and it won’t be indexed as a separate page. There are some problems with this approach and it won’t always be followed as expected so turning Off category paths for products will be a better solution. With careful planning and some additional coding turning on this setting can have a great SEO benefit though but shouldn’t just be turned on without thorough consideration. You can read more about Canonical URLs here Google webmaster article on Canonical URLs

On Page optimisations

  1. Layered navigation and attribute filteringUsing a large number of attributes and allowing filtering of products on a category page can result in a lot of indexed URLS with duplicate content, there are ways to prevent this including Google Webmaster and other Search engine tools allows you to define parameters that shouldn’t be indexed. There are also some good extensions to improve the URLS created. I’d always recommend looking at fixing this instead of just not using layered navigation. It Is a useful user interface tool and enhances the shopping experienced which is important and so should always be used where applicable, remember SEO is very important but just getting more users to your website and providing a poor shopping experience is not the answer.
  2. schema.org tags, there is a world wide organisation setup to help catalogue and describe data online. These tags tell computers what content is about and Google and other search engines will use this information when displaying results. It usually requires modification of your template but can be a valuable tool and will help differentiate your website links from the competition. A full list of all the tags area available on the scheme.org website.

If you’d like us to review your SEO Strategy please get in touch and we can discuss how to improve your search result positions and bring more visitors your way.
Contact us about Magento SEO.
We always follow our own advice with SEO and so please have a look for yourself how well we rank for our “Magento Birmingham” services keywords,