I just re-read the thread to make sure I didn’t miss anything.
I could write a multitude on the SEO URL hype but I agree wholeheartedly that so much of it is speculation by people who don’t even operate their own search engines.
1. Products need to be managed first. Then they get sold in a shop.
2. Humans need order and structure.
3. Marketing professional are not web developers, web designers or web decorators.. vice versa.
A solution would be to shelve the product according to sections and sub-sections (which the store owner needs to figure out), e.g. kitchen, bathroom, study.. pasta, herbs, soft drinks, dairy.. ‘Physically’ assigning them. Maybe this can be set in how they arrange the products in the back-end/admin area and reflected in the permanent url?
e.g. domain.com/section/sub-section/product_id/product_name etc/whatever
Dealing with categorising/tagging, they would only be used in finding a particular product and according should only be generated on a filter/search page.. possibly with a short grab of the product and a link to the permanent url.
e.g. domain.com/keywords:camera+tripod/filter/manufacturer:manfrotto,size:600mm/ (this is searching for a “camera tripod” and then filtering according to attributes of manufacturer name and tripod size). THOUGH, if you added, for e.g. product_id:453E at the end of the filter, it would obviously only bring up that product.. Searching/filtering is, obviously not physically, very different to actually just displaying the product page..
The more you focus on trying to achieving an SEO URL nirvana, the more convoluted the system will become. In saying that, shelving the products according to attributes on the front side (which is what wordpress really does, date, title, etc etc) is a good option to implement as it would allow those who are inclined that way to have control. However, setting a default option would be wise and helpful to those who believe that SEO is only part of the game of selling products.
Johan, I hope that explains my approach a little clearer but I believe there are so many factors that are not clearly defined with this topic that really muddy the water and distract the real topic. You first design a product to work, then you figure out how to sell it.
Magento will be my choice because of that little thing called CSS and it’s free. Beggars can’t be choosers and I think the Magento team have every right to ensure the software stays strong, then chase the demands of the most vocal.
Far from all wordpress installations archive by date etc. It’s been frowned upon a long time by most SEOs. That is the reason they use /postname/ in the url, to make the link permanent, no causing duplicate content once the post goes into the archive.
The quest may not be to find the holy grail of the SEO URL. But keeping them permanent, unique and avoiding duplicates, sure is one step closer.
Ross: that link is not pointing to where I believe you might want it too..
Johan: Sorry about forgetting everything you want me to do. I am almost 75. Alzheimers is very hard to live with..
I would suggest that perhaps you re-read what I wrote because I made it clear how I would deal with a product with multiple categories. It wouldn’t create 2 product pages.. the product would be returned in 2 different search/filter result pages.
Think of when you go to your supermarket. They only shelf a product in one place (unless it’s in a sale bin near the counter etc). Take Milk.. it could be categorised/tagged as dairy, white, bottled, carton, 500ml, 2L.. They have to decide on ONE term/word to shelf it under.. normally DAIRY. This would be the ‘section’ it is found in. This would be done in the magento back-end by the store administrator for their management purposes.
So regarding individual products and their permanent URL, as stated in my previous post, I would set it as:
Therefore, in dealing with multiple categories, this would be implemented in a search result/filter results page:
This is arrived at someone searching for milk and then adding the attributes to filter the results. Thus on the product page you could have down the bottom, found under “dairy farmers” that would link to:
domain.com/filter/manufacturer:dairy+farmers and would list all their products..
This would be found by search engines and would be indexed, as I agree with you about search engines not caring about if a page has a file suffix (.html etc). Thus the product would be found on multiple pages in search/filter results, as well as its ‘physical’ location (after following a link from the search/filter result page)..
Now about breaking the system.. that’s not my place at all to say because if it’s an issue, it can be changed. However, I don’t see any major problem? At the end of the day, all that is being done is a query and text can be manipulated easily enough.
I don’t obviously know if you understand the 2 points I am communicating (if because I am not communicating them well enough OR...). The first is saying the permanent URL is a ‘physical’ point: the product is found here (aisle 3, 3 shelf from the top). The second is saying that categories/tags/adjectives/descriptive words are used to find IF a store stocks a product (hi, do you sell white, 200ml, cartons of strawberry milk?).
Anyway, this is my opinion and it might not be even near a viable solution.
I would like to suggest that the community keep this thread as a discussion of SEO URLs, and not turn it into a discussion of whether or not you need SEO URLs, etc. That can be discussed in another thread.
It is a fact that SEO opinion will play a role in the adoption of Magento, and so there is value in the discussion even if SEO will not be a factor in YOUR adoption of Magento.
It is also true that different SEO practitioners have different opinions (just as do designers, usability “experts”, etc). That is good like spontaneous genetic mutation is good - it helps with immunity and evolution. So the task of the developers becomes seeking a general solution (flexible) addressing SEO concerns, so that SEOs will adopt Magento and recommend Magento “because they can work with it”.
I am a full-time SEO working on SEO since 1996. I read this entire thread. I did not disagree with any of the SEO advice offered. Except fo the nofollow stuff, I thought it was all good, provided the system would remain flexible enough to permit my brand of SEO as well as the other people’s brands of SEO (the same as accommodating change). I work with ZF on SEO projects and do appreciate the significant advances made in the routing over the past 6 months or so, but is very complex for SEOs. Hence SEO interest in development of projects like Magento.
I also point out that I have not found a single CMS or ecommerce app in existence that accommodates all of the major SEO needs. They all have trouble spots, as others here have noted. If that remains true, and Magento provides a flexible solution accommodating SEO needs, it can be the *only* ecommerce solution I would recommend, for SEO reasons.
If I can be of assistance I am very willing to spend the time and energy to help make it great for SEO.
Magento is really not ideal from the point of view of SEO. Very many obvious functions are implemented not quite right.
The problem is that it is quite difficult to improve these functions even for an experienced programmer.
Magento is really not ideal from the point of view of SEO. Very many obvious functions are implemented not quite right. I recommend to use ready magento extensions. For example, Advanced SEO Suite. It fixes a lot issues, including generation of proper urls.
An easier solution to boost SEO for a Magento site is to employ an extension that will do it all for you. I tried the extension SEO+ (from magestore.com), it’s pretty good and priced reasonably compared to some others. It enhances Magento sites in search engine by various optimization methods: product tag, search and layered navigation.
-Generate URL, title, keywords, description for tag’s product list, search result and filter pages
-Allow using URL Rewrite and Cache Rewrite
-Use canonical link to link filter page to main page
And A XML Sitemap is superb for its friendliness with Search Engine. By adding this Magento Sitemap Xml extension, your web-shop can experience a higher ranking in Search Engines efficiently, effortlessly and especially FREE!
for more details, see http://www.magestore.com/magento-seo-plus-extension.html and http://www.magestore.com/magento-xml-sitemap-extension.html