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Old 25th March 2009, 08:10 PM   #1
bayinghound
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Default Keep SE Rank When Changing Urls

I am considering moving my online store from a yahoo store to a corecommerce store. My category and product urls are now words that describe the items, such as www.bayinghound.com/bpafreebottles.html (category) and www.bayinghound.com/elbutterfly.html (product).

When I create a category or product in corecommerce, the software automatically assigns a new name. According to their support, the assignment is made thusly: "So if you have created Category A (it's ID, we'll say, is 7), anytime you view the category itself, without viewing the product detail page, you'll be on the following page:

http://www.yoursite.com/a-c1/ (a-c1 = Category A with an ID of 1) [This is done for uniqueness]

If you enter a product's detail page, this changes. If you have created Product A (it's ID, we'll say, is 7 as well), anytime you view the product detail page, the URL will change to:

http://www.yoursite.com/a/a-p7.html (a-p7 = Product A with an ID of 7) [This is done for uniqueness as well]"

I am concerned about how all these new urls will affect my search engine rank. Does the Corecommerce naming sound search engine friendly? If so, is there a best practices model for naming products and categories so I get the best use of the naming system corecommerce uses?

Finally, is there a way to redirect the old urls so that search engines will pickup on the new urls?

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Old 25th March 2009, 10:27 PM   #2
torka
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I'm not familiar with the capabilities of Yahoo stores, but I suspect it will be difficult to redirect, since I don't think you have the ability to set up an .htaccess file, insert commands in the file <head> section of the file or run your own scripts. If you do have the ability to do one or more of these things, they are all ways that can be used to automatically redirect visitors (including the SE spiders) to the new pages.

If you can let us know what capabilities (if any) you have in those regards, we can advise on how to perform the redirects if they can be done.

As to the SE-friendliness of the new URLs, they sound acceptable, as long as they're unique for each page and you don't have multiple URLs pointing to the same page. They don't appear to contain a session ID and they don't have more than three dynamic parameters, so they should be fine.

If you're asking about whether you need keywords in your URLS for them to be "SE friendly," no, you don't. If you can work keywords in, it's certainly not a bad thing to do, but it doesn't bring the huge benefits some people claim -- if there are any benefits, they are minor at best, and there is disagreement among top SEOs as to whether there's any benefit at all. Basically, it's one of those nice but not necessary things.

--Torka

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Old 27th March 2009, 07:47 AM   #3
delstu
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bayinghound View Post
I am concerned about how all these new urls will affect my search engine rank.
It appears you have very little traffic according to your Alexa rank. I would be more concerned about developing a marketing plan.

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Old 27th March 2009, 09:28 AM   #4
bayinghound
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Originally Posted by delstu View Post
It appears you have very little traffic according to your Alexa rank. I would be more concerned about developing a marketing plan.
Traffic and search engine rank are different. My site is in top ten positions for a number of useful keyword searches. I would be foolish to disregard those when making a switch.

Quote:
insert commands in the file <head> section
I can add html to the head tags of pages and the yahoo store help forum tells how to redirect with a meta refresh tag. Is that what I'd need to do for each page?

I can't change the htaccess file.

Thanks for the responses.

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Old 27th March 2009, 11:43 AM   #5
Japald
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Default You May Have Additional Issues

There is an additional issue that may need to be considered.

When the search engines crawl your new site, they will often take different paths through your navigation. With stores that use categories and product pages, it is possible for the search engines to index the product page by itself (domain/product-01), and also index that product page as belonging to the category (domain/category-a/product-01).

You may need to consider which of these is your primary path for link juice or PR distribution on your new web site.

Sorry to add more grief.

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Old 28th March 2009, 03:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayinghound View Post
Traffic and search engine rank are different. My site is in top ten positions for a number of useful keyword searches. I would be foolish to disregard those when making a switch.
Uhmmm, perhaps I'm misunderstanding something... but if these keyword searches don't result in traffic to your site, then in what sense are they "useful"?

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I can add html to the head tags of pages and the yahoo store help forum tells how to redirect with a meta refresh tag. Is that what I'd need to do for each page?
You can do a meta refresh with the timing set to zero. I am told that Google will in at least most cases treat this the same as a 301 redirect, but I have not confirmed this for myself. It will definitely serve to get your visitors to your new pages; what I can't promise is that it will transfer link popularity the way a true 301 redirect would do.

If you have any links pointing to your old pages (whether from other sites you control or from outside sites), you'll want to do your best to get them changed to point to the new pages, just in case.

--Torka

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Old 28th March 2009, 04:51 PM   #7
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torka misunderstanding = note delstu had pointed out no Alexa ranking, and bayinghound was responding that even though not on alexa's (traffic) radar there are still good rankings that do provide valuable traffic worth his hassles.

bayinghound, you are correct with what you have said about the lack of relevance regarding alexa's ranking of your site.

Regarding Japald's "grief" mentioned, you are not going to be able to address that (if it is an issue) with the limited access you have. shrug shoulders, don't worry about it, google has improved things regarding this ... so don't be concerned. nothing you can do there.

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Old 24th June 2009, 03:23 PM   #8
delstu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logan View Post
torka misunderstanding = note delstu had pointed out no Alexa ranking, and bayinghound was responding that even though not on alexa's (traffic) radar there are still good rankings that do provide valuable traffic worth his hassles.

bayinghound, you are correct with what you have said about the lack of relevance regarding alexa's ranking of your site.
True, Alexa is not a good indicator of actual traffic. However bayinghound says nothing about traffic to the site, so Alexa is about the only easily accessible data for traffic.

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