Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Changes in Magento Enterprise Edition (EE) 1.13.0.2

This article discusses how search engine optimization (SEO) works in EE 1.13.0.2. This article is not intended to be a tutorial on SEO.

Table of Contents

Comparing EE 1.13.0.2 with EE 1.12.0.2

The following sections quickly summarize the changes you'll see in EE 1.13.0.2:

Product URL key uniqueness

Description:
The main difference introduced in EE 1.13.0.2 is that product URL keys must be globally unique among all websites, stores, and views. You can no longer have two different products that have the same URL key.
Benefit:
A single URL leads uniquely to a product page.
Discussion:

In EE 1.12, it was possible to have multiple products with the same URL key; however, every time the indexer ran, it silently assigned a numerical suffix to duplicates (for example, shoes became shoes-1 and so on).

Every time this happened, another URL rewrite was created, resulted in a set of chained redirects for the same product, which dilute the effectiveness of the canonical URL in search engine weightings. (As discussed in this article on Google's blog, a canonical URL is a public specification of your preferred URL. The canonical URL is used by any search engine when crawling and indexing your site.)

This behavior was not clear to merchants and had the effect of diluting search engine weightings.

In EE 1.13.0.2, there will be a single, unique way to access a product (or multiple ways if you use the category path in URLs).

No more chained redirects

Description:
Magento addressed the indexer issue that resulted in suffixes being silently added to products with duplicate URL keys. In EE 1.13.0.2, duplicate URL keys are not allowed.
Benefit:
Search engines recognize the canonical URL, which improves the product's weighting in search results. (All of the weighting goes to the canonical URL.)

Per-entity indexing

Description:
EE 1.13.0.2 uses per-entity indexing that indexes custom URL redirects, categories, and products—as opposed to a global indexer.
Benefit:

Similar to chained redirects, in EE 1.12, if a product had the same URL key as its parent category, the indexer assigned an incrementing numeric suffix to either the category or the product. This was done without the merchant's knowledge and was confusing as well.

Discussion:

In EE 1.12, if you named a top-level category slippers and had product also named slippers, the indexer allowed to access to the category using a URL like the following:

http://www.example.com/slippers-1

In EE 1.13.0.2, the same product can be accessed using a URL like:

http://www.example.com/slippers

There is a new Admin Panel setting to specify how indexing should be prioritized. This setting, System > Configuration > CATALOG > Catalog > Search Engine Optimizations > Priority for Duplicated URL Keys, is discussed in more detail in Prioritizing URL Resolution.

Other changes

Description:
  • Full reindexing is now required in very limited situations.
  • Most indexing processes now run only to update products, categories, URL redirects, and so on that have changed—eliminating the need for manual full reindexing.
  • During the time reindexing is in progress, your web store is accessible (that is, your web store is not locked).
Benefit:
Makes indexing easier to use.

URL Key Uniqueness Rules in Magento EE 1.13.0.2

The following entities can be indexed and therefore have a requirement for URL key uniqueness:

  • Categories
  • Products (including custom URL redirects)
  • Content Management System (CMS)

Uniqueness rules for each entity type follow:

Entity type Uniqueness rule
Product, including custom URL redirects All product URL keys must be globally unique.
Category

Category URL keys must be unique only in the same level in the hierarchy; for example

website
      root category
          store view
              category tree
                  *category name*
Note: Uniqueness rules apply to inactive categories as well. You cannot use the same URL key for both an active and inactive category at the same level in the category hierarchy.
CMS CMS URL keys, like category URL keys, must be unique only in the same level in the hierarchy.

†—Custom URL redirect refers to a product's Create Custom Redirect for old URL option.

URL Key Examples

The following table shows category URL keys that are allowed. (The URL key is shoes for all entities in the table.)

URL examples Reason allowed
http://example.com/mens/shoes
http://example.com/womens/shoes
Different category hierarchies.
http://example1.com/shoes
http://example2.com/shoes
Different domains.
http://example.com/shoes (store view 1)
http://example.com/shoes (store view 2)
Different store views.

Notes:

  • You cannot have the same category URL key for two categories at the same level in the same store view.
  • You can optionally add the store code to the URL path (in the Admin Panel, click System > Configuration > GENERAL > Web, Add Store Code to Urls).

Prioritizing URL Resolution

Suppose you have the following set of URL keys. All of them are allowed because they're for different entity types.

Entity type Entity name URL key Sample URL
Category shoes shoes http://www.example.com/shoes.html
Product shoes shoes http://www.example.com/shoes.html
Custom URL redirects shoes shoes http://www.example.com/shoes.html

Question: What happens when a web store visitor requests http://www.example.com/shoes.html?

Answer: You control the response in the Admin Panel. Click System > Configuration > CATALOG > Search Engine Optimizations. In the right pane, click an option from the Priority for Duplicated URL Keys list. Some examples follow:

Priority setting Result
Default setting:
  1. Redirect
  2. Category
  3. Product
Custom URL redirect
  1. Category
  2. Redirect
  3. Product
Shoes category

†—Custom URL redirect refers to a product's Create Custom Redirect for old URL option.

The other options are:

  • Redirect - Product - Category
  • Category - Product - Redirect
  • Product - Redirect - Category
  • Product - Category - Redirect

In the event no URL key matches your priority setting, Magento continues through the priorities in order until a match is found.

Note: CMS URL keys are always prioritized last.

For More Information about SEO

For more information about SEO, see:

Discussion:

RSS: New Article posts

Explore the Knowledge Base